NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has allowed the Government of Kenya to make submissions regarding its plea to be enjoined as a friend of the court in a pending determination on the impact of the country’s move to exit the Rome Statute.
Trial Chamber V (a) which is hearing the case against Deputy President William Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang said the input by the Government will be important in establishing the impact of the Motion passed by the Kenyan Parliament.
“Submissions from the Government of Kenya on these resolutions may be of assistance to the Chamber. It considers such submissions to be desirable for the proper determination of the issues under consideration by the Chamber,” the judges said.
The Chamber has asked Attorney General Githu Muigai to make submissions to illustrate if the withdrawal will affect security of ICC witnesses and their psychological wellbeing.
“The Chamber notes that, as indicated above, it is currently considering the issue of the impact of the debate and resolutions of the Kenyan Parliament regarding Kenya’s status as a State Party to the Rome Statute on the safety, physical and psychological well-being of witnesses testifying in the present case.”
Muigai is expected to make written submissions by October 16 while other parties have up to October 18 to do the same.
On September 25, he wrote to the Registry requesting to be allowed to give the court the facts regarding the Motions adopted by Parliament and the Senate to remove Kenya from the Rome Statute.
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji on September 17 asked the prosecution, defence and Victims’ Legal Representative Wilfred Nderitu to make submissions indicating if indeed the Kenyan Parliament had debated and passed such a Motion and the reason for the move.
The judge further told the parties to demonstrate how the Motion would affect the case against Ruto and Sang, especially the security of witnesses.
The parties were also asked to show if the Motion would affect other national laws if the country withdraws from the Rome Statute.
Ruto and Sang on September 18 made oral submissions regarding Kenya’s intended withdrawal from the Rome Statute.
The defence differed with the prosecution which argued that the Motion passed by Parliament has an impact on the case before the court.
The prosecution represented by Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg had claimed that the first witness was late to start giving her testimony because the Kenyan Parliament and the Senate had passed the Motion which would affect the ICC case against Ruto and his co-accused Sang.
The defence on the other hand said the Motion did not affect the case in any way.