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Kenya

2008 violence spontaneous, ICC witness says

The International Criminal Court Chamber V(a) is hearing the case against Ruto and Sang. Photo/CAPITAL FM

The International Criminal Court Chamber V(a) is hearing the case against Ruto and Sang. Photo/CAPITAL FM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – The second witness against Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang has told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the 2007/2008 violence started spontaneously.

Witness P0326 was responding to questions by the Prosecution regarding events that transpired at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) when former President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the 2007 bungled poll.

The witness said that police went to the KICC and picked up the Chairman of the then Electoral Commission of Kenya before rushing him to State House where Kibaki was declared winner and sworn in.

“In less than 10 minutes they declared the then sitting president as the winner of that election and from there violence just broke out because they (people) had not expected that result,” he said.

He also told the Judges that all the members of the Pentagon in the Orange Democratic Movement were at the KICC when the announcement was made.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Charity Ngilu (Lands Cabinet Secretary), Najib Balala (Mining Cabinet Secretary), former Deputy President Musalia Mudavadi, Joe Nyagah (former Minister of Cooperative Development) were all mentioned as being present at the KICC.

The witness added that Ruto did not utter any inciting statements during the ODM rallies and that he believed in the ODM and was a faithful follower.

On Tuesday he had told the Court that Ruto was the ‘King’ of the Rift Valley and that he worked hard to deliver for the ODM, where he belonged at the time.

“Mr Ruto’s effort was seen during the campaign time and even during elections time because he could afford to garner the support of the region where he comes from and he consolidated a big support for ODM,” he said.

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“That automatically indicates that he had support from the region where he comes from. He campaigned seriously and delivered for ODM within the Rift Valley.”

Ruto and Sang are being accused of committing murder, deportation and persecution following the 2007 post election violence.

The ICC Prosecutor’s premise on the charges is that the two participated in preparatory meetings for the violence alleging that Ruto even took an oath and was anointed as a leader of the Kalenjin people.

They have both denied these charges.

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