, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday said it expects President Uhuru Kenyatta to continue cooperating with the court like he has done previously.
ICC Outreach Coordinator Maria Kamara who commended Kenyatta for his collaboration said she will not speculate on what the court will do if he fails to show up on November 12.
“Irrespective of the recent developments here and there, we cannot speculate whether he will not attend. We have to remember they have been cooperating all through right from the initial appearance. We don’t want to speculate at this stage,” she asserted.
She said both Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have always been present in court whenever they were required and she does not expect anything to change in regards to that.
According to Kamara they have also made submissions and responded to other matters as required by the ICC which demonstrates further cooperation with the court.
In view of conditions imposed on them by the court during the initial appearance, Kamara acknowledged that none of the Kenyan suspects had violated them and that is why they remain free as their cases progress.
Some of the conditions include appearing in court when summoned, not interfering with witnesses and refraining from other acts likely to block the justice process.
“Summonses for them to appear were issued and conditions were imposed upon them, one of which is to appear before the court when so they are called upon, and not to interfere with ongoing investigations. As far as the court is concerned they have not found any reason to believe the contrary, they have fully complied with these conditions,” Kamara acknowledged.
Her sentiments on cooperation follow spirited efforts to forestall the trial of Kenyatta and pressure on him not to attend the trial on November 12.
The African Union (AU) resolved that Kenyatta and Ruto should not to attend their trials, although Ruto returned to The Hague for continuation of his trial.
On Tuesday, Ruto said he will continue attending his trial until the UN Security Council rules on the application filed by the African Union.
Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang are already attending their trial which kicked off on September 10.
However, pending at the Appeals Chamber is a ruling on an application by the Prosecution whether Ruto will be excused from continuous presence during his trial as previously allowed by Trial Chamber V (a) or if he will attend all sessions of the trial.
Still before the court is Kenyatta’s application in which he wants the court to address his concerns over not getting a fair trial over alleged misconduct of three prosecution witnesses and a prosecution intermediary.
Kamara said the ruling will be made before the commencement of his trial.
“The defence presented that because of alleged misconduct of these three witnesses and an OTP intermediary. He said it is not possible to have a fair trial and the court should consider to permanently staying proceedings until an evidentiary hearing is held. This means witnesses have to be called in relation to this matter before the commencement of the trial. It is pending but it will be issued before the commencement of the trial,” she explained.
Kenyatta’s defence also replaced an earlier application which was requesting him to attend trial via video link with a new application which is seeking to have him attend the trial only during the opening, closing and delivery of judgment.