, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) trial against Deputy President William Ruto and former broadcaster Joshua arap Sang was on Wednesday evening treated to a spectacle, when the ninth prosecution witness disowned a video clip made available to him by the prosecution as proof of Ruto allegedly being crowned King and spokesman of the Kalenjin community.
The video clip, which was initially played in the Court on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, showed Ruto wearing traditional regalia with the witness walking the chamber through each item that he adorned.
He told the court how such items were only worn by Kalenjin kings and the last person to wear them was the historical figure, Koitalel arap Samoei.
According to the witness, Ruto even took mursik, the traditional sour milk at the ceremony.
But barely 24 hours later and the witness had changed the tune of his song, entirely dismissing the evidence saying that the clip presented to the court was not the one where Ruto was crowned king.
“Can I then proceed with my cross-examination on the understanding that the video we looked at is not the one which made Mr Ruto a King and a spokesman?” asked Sang’s lead counsel Katwa Kigen.
“It is not the one Your Honor. It just came to my mind,” responded the witness.
Trial Chamber V(a) Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji even sought a clarification from the witness, as if not believing the abrupt change of heart.
“Are you saying the video that we saw yesterday and continued with this morning was not the video depicting Ruto as king?” he asked.
“I am saying that there were two different functions and the function where I said Ruto was made king is not the one we saw,” responded the witness.
The witness had prior to that confidently told the Trial Chamber that the swearing-in ceremony was conducted in 2007 at the Eldoret Sports Club and that he first watched it on Citizen TV.
And then Kigen dropped another bombshell – the video was recorded in 2006.
“You confirm that the Prosecution themselves state that the date of recording is unknown but it could be June 3rd 2006 as estimated. Isn’t it?” asked Kigen.
“It is what I see in the paper,” he responded.
“And Mr Witness a function of 2007 could not have been recorded as 2006, isn’t it?” asked Kigen.
“Yes Your Honour,” the witness answered.
This is not the first time a prosecution witness has taken the stand only to refute evidence given by the Office of the Prosecutor.
The defence cross-examination continues on Thursday.