I opted for truth after meeting priest – ICC witness

September 9, 2014 4:27 pm
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The witness however admitted that he did not respond to the phone calls and messages sent to him by the ICC after he failed to show up/FILE
The witness however admitted that he did not respond to the phone calls and messages sent to him by the ICC after he failed to show up/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecution on Tuesday alleged that the 22nd witness changed his mind not to travel to The Hague to testify after he received a phone call in which he was advised not to proceed.

According to Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg, the witness had sent a text message to the ICC field officers informing them that he was ready to travel to Nairobi before proceeding to The Hague but suddenly failed to show up and cut off communication with them.

“On 28th of May, did you not send an SMS to one of the investigators telling him that you would arrive in Nairobi on Sunday and arrive at the end of the destination on the following Monday?” Steynberg asked.

The witness responded; “No I don’t remember. I really don’t remember sending a Short Message Service (SMS).”

The witness however admitted that he did not respond to the phone calls and messages sent to him by the ICC after he failed to show up.

The witness told the court that he changed his statement after he spoke to a priest who advised him to tell the truth.

In supporting its allegation that the witness was advised not to testify, the prosecution submitted a list of people who allegedly were in communication with the witness and allegedly tampered with evidence.

On further questioning on why he failed to travel as agreed, the witness told the court that he had accepted to appear voluntarily but changed his mind after he learnt on media that he had been summoned.

P0604 who began testifying last Thursday further admitted that he had been coached by a lady whose identity remains anonymous.

“Is it your version that you and the lady conspired to provide false evidence to the OTP in order to get greater benefits? Is that what you are telling us,” Steynberg asked.

The witness responded; “Yes.”

The witness in accepting that they colluded with the anonymous lady said; “my mentor (the lady) said she was unhappy with the way the OTP was treating you. If you want goodies when you meet investigators you must mention some people.”

The court admitted two diaries which the witness used in his initial statements in which he said he had attended meetings where he heard Deputy President William Ruto inciting Kalenjins to attack Kikuyus.

The court also accepted other prosecution exhibits, the recanting affidavit of the witness including other documents he had submitted to the court as evidence.

The witness who was grilled on issues that are likely to lead to self incrimination prompted Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji to remind the prosecution of its promise that the information that the witness would give would not be used to prosecute him.

Witness P0604 is the first witness in the Kenyan cases to appear under summonses.

On Monday, judges of Trial Chamber V (a) which is hearing Kenya Case 1 against Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang declared the witness hostile.

This allowed the prosecution to question him for recanting his initial statement.

The hearing resumes on Wednesday morning.

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