NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – The testimony of the second witness against Deputy President William Ruto and his co accused Joshua arap Sang, at the International Criminal Court (ICC), will be held in public.
This is after the Trial Chamber V (a) Judges ruled on Monday that the witness provides an open account to allow members of the public as well as the family members and friends of the accused to follow the proceedings.
But Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said that the face of the witness would be pixelated and the voice distorted in addition to having a fake name.
This witness has also been advised not to give any account that will reveal the identities of his family members and in the event that they do, this will also be hidden from the public.
“The following measures will be implemented… limited private sessions for testimony that may be of a unique nature such as may reveal the identity of the witness to the wider public and for testimony that may reveal the identity of friends and family,” he said.
Both the Victims and Witnesses’ Unit (VWU) and the Prosecutor had implored upon the judges to set in-court protective measures to hide the identity of the witness.
The first witness, only identified as P0536, testified fully in-camera after her identity was exposed online.
“The chamber grants the request for in-court protective measures to the extent of the recommendation of the VWU,” said Judge Eboe-Osuji.
But barely 10 minutes after the witness took to the stand on Monday, the trial went into a limited private session again.
The first time the court went in camera on Monday was for the defence teams to discuss certain issues with the Trial Chamber.
The second time was to allow the witness to walk in to the courtroom while the third one started a few minutes after the witness had taken their oath.
Both Ruto and Sang had requested the judges to allow the sessions to go in public so that their families back in Kenya can see the truth unfold.
“Of course Mr Ruto wants to reassure his mother that she has peace that this is a son to be proud of, not a son to be ashamed of,” argued his lead counsel Karim Khan on September 20.
“With all the words I can use I am unable to describe the pain he’s going through in the manner of the closed proceedings that have the effect of suggesting that he has absolutely no rights in terms of having his situation understood by people who matter to him,” submitted Sang’s counsel Katwa Kigen.