Ruto’s lawyers poke huge holes in witness account

November 8, 2013 2:21 pm
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The witness had on Thursday told the court how three Kikuyus were slashed to death by Nandi youths in Yamumbi area at the height of the 2007-8 post election violence/FILE
The witness had on Thursday told the court how three Kikuyus were slashed to death by Nandi youths in Yamumbi area at the height of the 2007-8 post election violence/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – The Defence of Deputy President William Ruto has put major dents into the testimony of the seventh witness, accusing him of lying to the court about seeing certain events firsthand.

The witness had on Thursday told the court how three Kikuyus were slashed to death by Nandi youths in Yamumbi area at the height of the 2007-8 post election violence.

Among these people was person number 10 whom he claimed was slashed so bad that his intestines started spilling out and by the time he was taken to the hospital it was too late.

But one of Ruto’s lawyers Essa Faal presented to the court number 10’s death certificate, which listed cause of death as a heart attack due to shock in addition to head injuries.

Disembowelment was not listed among the causes.

“If a person is disembowelled I think it is something that would ordinarily appear on the death certificate if it actually did occur because it is so dramatic,” argued Faal.

“The medical record clearly shows that the multiple cuts this person suffered were to the head. It doesn’t say it was to the stomach.”

The witness also spoke of person number 11, who he claimed was cut and stashed into a sack before the witness and others were called by the attackers to go pick up the corpse.

But according to the witness this person was still alive when he was collected before being rushed to hospital where he was admitted. The witness also said that the mental faculties of this victim were severely affected after the attack.

And Faal once again informed the witness that this person’s hospital records showed that he was treated and discharged on the same day.

“Mr Witness person number 11 was treated and discharged that same day at the hospital. Does this surprise you?” asked Faal.

“I cannot understand the details about his treatment and him being discharged from hospital,” responded the witness.

The witness also maintained that he witnessed these events first hand but Faal cast doubts into this testimony.

Faal further asked the witness why he did not move his family away from Yamumbi despite the fact that he had testified to the court that he was aware of the looming danger in the area even before the violence broke out.

The reasons will however remain unknown because the court once again went into a private session.

The witness had also told the court on Thursday that he and others stood a safe distance away observing the Nandi youths attack these individuals.

Although he mentioned that the youths were armed with clubs, sticks, bows and arrows, he changed his testimony on Friday to include guns which he said were carried by the civilians.

He also told Faal that these youths shot at them.

“Do you recall when you were asked by the prosecution what weapons the attackers carried you said bows and arrows, sticks and clubs?” asked Faal.

“Yes,” the witness responded.

“You never included guns at the time did you?” queried Faal.

“Please repeat the question so that I can understand you,” the witness responded.

It emerged at this point that there was a misinterpretation on the Kiswahili word for gun.

“There is a slight problem is translation because the Kiswahili version that is coming out is weapons not the Kiswahili word for guns,” pointed out one of the defence lawyers.

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