NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has now postponed the May trial of Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
According to a statement from the ICC Public Affairs Unit, Trial Chamber V agreed to change the May 28 date earlier set for the trial, and will announce a new date after a status conference to be held next Tuesday.
“Trial Chamber V of the International Criminal Court decided to provisionally vacate the date of the trial’s start in the case of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua arap Sang and conveyed a public status conference on 14 May 2013. A new date for the trial’s opening will be scheduled after hearing the parties and participants’ observations during the status conference.”
The court will first hold a closed-door status conference with the prosecution on May 7 regarding the change of date of the trials.
“The chamber will hold a non public ex-parte status conference with the prosecution on 7 May 2013 and with the defence on 14 May 2013 to discuss these issues and other procedural matters,” the ICC indicated.
During the status conferences the defence, prosecution and victims through their representatives will give their observations in regard to the prosecutor’s request to add five more witnesses.
The defence will also explain its request to have the May 28 trial date vacated as submitted in earlier applications.
Last week, Trial Chamber V said it was likely to give a new trial date for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case when it denied him a referral or withdrawal of his case after the court dropped charges against his co-accused, former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
Though it cleared the way for his trial, the chamber reprimanded the prosecution for poor investigations and agreed to provide the defence with more time to prepare for trial.
Defence teams in Kenya Case I and II have criticised the prosecution for disclosing huge chunks of evidence in the post-confirmation stage.
They have complained to the court that the prosecution had failed to disclose prosecution witnesses within the set timelines. They have also accused the prosecution of carrying out shoddy investigations and using ‘fake’ witnesses.
The prosecution has however defended itself saying it did proper investigations and believes it has strong evidence to prove the criminal responsibility of Kenyatta, Ruto and Sang.
The defence team of Kenyatta challenged the prosecution for failing to disclose the affidavit of Witness 4 prior to confirmation of charges against him.
The prosecution admitted that it had dropped the witness after he admitted he lied to the court.