NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – It has now emerged that Deputy President William Ruto did not at any point seek immunity for politician Jackson Kibor, who had in 2008 been accused of fanning post-election violence in the Rift Valley.
Witness P0356 told the International Criminal Court on Tuesday that he only heard Ruto call for Kibor’s release from the CID headquarters in Nakuru, where he had been held for five days without being taken to court.
Kibor was being held by the CID over claims of incitement and at the time, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is also reported to have called for his release owing to concerns of his age and welfare.
The witness admitted to this while being questioned by Ruto’s lead lawyer Karim Khan.
The prosecution has been trying to establish the link between Ruto and Kibor and has even indicated that Kibor was elected into the Kalenjin Council of Elders while Ruto was the community’s spokesman.
Khan: Did you ever hear Mr William Ruto say that Jackson Kibor should not be prosecuted?
Witness: Your Honour I didn’t hear him say that he should not be prosecuted but I heard him saying that he should be released with immediate effect.
Odinga is also reported to have been concerned that Kibor, who was 74 years old at the time, had not been eating since he got arrested and raised objections to him being held without being arraigned in court.
And according to the witness, Ruto also wanted the young men who had been arrested in connection with the violence released.
Tuesday’s session was the most secretive since the year begun with less than 15 minutes being conducted in open court.
It is therefore not clear what the defence might have gotten out of the witness regarding Kibor.
The 10th witness has taken the stand and will continue testifying on Wednesday morning.