Judges seek first 10 witnesses in Uhuru ICC case

December 2, 2013 2:42 pm
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Trial Chamber V(b) also wants the list to indicate the order of the witnesses to be presented in the case scheduled to start on February 5 next year/FILE
Trial Chamber V(b) also wants the list to indicate the order of the witnesses to be presented in the case scheduled to start on February 5 next year/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 2 – Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have directed Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to file the list of the first 10 witnesses she intends to present in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case.

In the directive issued on Monday, Trial Chamber V(b) judges also asked Bensouda to indicate the order of the witnesses to be presented in the trial scheduled to start on February 5 next year.

“The Prosecution is directed to provide not later than 16th December, 2013 an updated list of the first 10 witnesses it expects to call,” Trial Chamber V (b) directed.

Once the trial starts in February, the prosecution will then be required to send monthly updates of its witnesses to the Trial Chamber one month after the first witness presents evidence.

Trial Chamber V (b) which will hear the case against Kenyatta indicated that the trial against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang will alternate in intervals of four weeks since judges Robert Fremr and Chile Eboe-Osuji sit on both Kenyan cases.

According to Trial Chamber V(b), the prosecution is likely to take about 190 hours to question its 32 witnesses including two expert witnesses supposed to give evidence against President Kenyatta.

Kenyatta’s defence team lead by Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins indicated that it will take approximately 400 hours to cross-examine all the prosecution witnesses with estimation that every witness will take about 13 and a half hours.

However, Trial Chamber V(b) wants both the prosecution and the defence to limit their time with the witnesses to four hours.

In the case against Ruto, the prosecutor’s office was largely criticised for asking for adjournment on various instances due to lack of witnesses.

The case facing Ruto and Sang was adjourned two weeks ago to January next year after the prosecution failed to present a witness who was scheduled to testify.

The trial which started on September 10, also started late after the first prosecution witness arrived late.

In the latest update on the Kenyatta case, the judges also outlined similar procedures in the Ruto-Sang case on the mode of giving evidence, cross-examination, presentation of written statements and among others emphasis on time.

Private sessions will also be allowed in the trial whenever parties request the judges.

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