, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for one day away from his trial to allow him attend his six-year-old daughter’s graduation from kindergarten.
Through lawyer Katwa Kigen, Sang requested Trial Chamber V(a) on Wednesday to excuse him from being psychically present at the court on Friday so that he can travel back home and be with his daughter.
Kigen explained that Sang had promised his daughter that he would attend her graduation and a denial of this request would affect him and his daughter psychologically.
“He had assured his daughter that he would attend that graduation and is afraid that if he doesn’t attend the girl will not understand why he did not attend because the girl is not able to understand the ICC proceedings,” argued Kigen.
He also promised that Sang will not give himself an extra day off after November 1 if the judges granted him his desire.
He explained that the graduation had initially been slated for November 7 but that he received an invite on Wednesday informing him that it had been brought forward to Friday.
“The request is made for the limited purpose of him being absent only on November 1; not any other day. The court will recall that he has been sitting through all the sessions,” pleaded Kigen.
Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg however put a damper on the request saying it should be turned down because the court has limits and an accused could not be excused from being psychically present due to familial reasons.
“One is always reluctant to disappoint children and I sympathise with my learned friend. However there are limits within which the courts must operate and the limits which the Appeals Chamber had set down do not allow for excusal to be able to attend family occasions,” argued Steynberg.
“In those circumstances I regret to say that we must oppose.”
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said he will make a ruling on the issue on Thursday morning.
But even if the graduation remained on the November 7 date, Sang would still have requested for a day off because his trial and that of his co-accused Deputy President William Ruto has been extended from November 1 to November 8.
Their trial was initially meant to break on November 1 but time was lost in between sessions forcing the court to extend the trial by a week.
Ruto has also asked for time off to be able to attend to his State duties during the extended period.