ICC Prosecution admits witness evidence not verified

January 30, 2014 2:42 pm
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Ruto's defence counsel David Hooper took advantage of Steynberg's admission to again impress upon the Trial Chamber V(a) the prosecution's failure to judiciously investigate its case and it's witnesses before pushing for Ruto's indictment/FILE
Ruto’s defence counsel David Hooper took advantage of Steynberg’s admission to again impress upon the Trial Chamber V(a) the prosecution’s failure to judiciously investigate its case and it’s witnesses before pushing for Ruto’s indictment/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – The International Criminal Court Prosecution lawyer in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and former Kass FM broadcaster Joshua arap Sang, Anton Steynberg, has admitted that they had not verified the testimony given by their witness P0128 on Wednesday.

He told the court that they were unable to ascertain the alleged shooting to death, by an arrow, of a Nandi police boss at the height of the 2008 Post-Election Violence as testified by their 10th witness.

“Bearing in mind the absence of any identity of the deceased and an exact date of the incident by the witness, the prosecution searched the database of materials received and also open source materials such as press reports et cetera. I can advise that we were not able to find any official records of any such incident,” he admitted.

This was despite the witness having testified that the shooting occurred in front of a crowd of people he had been addressing.

“The person hit by the arrow fell down and I was afraid when I saw that the policeman had been killed. I thought that they would start shooting at us and so I turned around and started running back home,” he had testified.

Ruto’s defence counsel David Hooper took advantage of Steynberg’s admission to again impress upon the Trial Chamber V(a) the prosecution’s failure to judiciously investigate its case and it’s witnesses before pushing for Ruto’s indictment.

“What appears to be the position of the prosecution in this case as far as its investigations are concerned is to leave no stone turned, to adopt what Mr (Karim) Khan said,” he quoted.

Interestingly, it was Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji who came to the defence of the prosecution recalling the number of times they have complained about being frustrated, in their quest for information, by the Kenyan government.

“The prosecution has complained repeatedly, and he (Steynberg) has also said it now, that it looks like the defence in this case has enjoyed more latitude investigating this case than they have done,” he said.

This did not stop Hooper from furthering his cause of portraying P0128 as an unreliable witness whose testimony could not be considered credible.

“You had certain political functions at the election. And it concerned of course a presidential candidate in the Aldai area. Do you agree you are or were particularly ill informed it would seem from your answers today about the politics in 2007?,” he put to the witness who was unable to identify Musalia Mudavadi as Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga’s second in command before the 2007 General Election.

“I was more concerned with voting at the polling station and so I didn’t pay much attention to what the politicians said while on their campaigns,” he conceded.

A concession that set the prosecution’s case back given on Wednesday he testified that he heard Ruto make reference to tree stumps that would be uprooted once ODM got into power at a rally before the 2007 General Election.

However when he was asked what that statement meant, the witness said that he only translated its meaning after the poll and after witnessing the events that transpired to be non-Kalenjins.

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