, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – Trial Chamber V on Wednesday adjourned the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang to next Tuesday, after the prosecution failed to present its first witness.
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji regretted that the witness was not present during the opening statements as earlier expected at the start of the trial that began on Tuesday.
“Prosecution, I take it that you do not have any witness to present. It is a shame really because we were hoping to proceed today but that is the reality we have,” he pointed out.
Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg said the prosecution witness was en-route to The Hague and would be in court next Tuesday as Monday is a public holiday in the Netherlands.
“The first witness is en-route. In fact, she should be arriving in The Hague if not today then tomorrow. We do anticipate unless something drastically goes wrong we will be in a position to continue on Tuesday,” he told the court.
Though the prosecution on Tuesday told the court that it would present 22 witnesses and victims to give evidence to demonstrate that Ruto and Sang planned and executed attacks in Rift Valley, Steynberg on Wednesday clarified that they were “circle crime-based” witnesses to describe specific events in certain areas.
“I was referring to circle crime-based witnesses who will testify as to actual events. I was not saying that the prosecution is now limiting its witnesses list to 22 people,” he said.
He was responding to Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen who wanted to know how the witness list had changed from 42 to 22 people.
The prosecution also promised to give the defence an updated list of its witnesses after Khan alleged that three more prosecution witnesses had dropped out.
“This being previous orders of the court regarding the defence entitlement that we should have at least the next 10 witnesses in order because the first three witnesses have withdrawn. We don’t know who is going to be the fourth witness. The prosecution send us a revised list of the next 10 witnesses,” he said.
He also told the court that the defence should be furnished with an updated list of witnesses since three witnesses had dropped out after the defence teams were given the list of the first 10 witnesses.
“We actually don’t know who is the second witness, is it 464 or is it 326? I would like the prosecution to tell us who is the second witness,” Khan stressed.
Steynberg said the prosecution will try its best to adhere to the list of witnesses provided to the defence.
He also indicated that witness 464 would be available on short notice since he is in Netherlands.
“We intend to follow as much as possible the existing witness list. We will provide a list by the end of today,” he promised