, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – A second prosecution witness in the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been declared hostile.
The trial chamber allowed the Prosecution to treat the witness as hostile after he disowned the statement the Prosecution used to build its case, opposing what was contained therein.
“None of the participants has argued that the circumstances of this witness’ testimony thus far are any different from those under which witness 604 was declared hostile.
“In that previous occasion the chamber considered the extensive degree to which the witness’ testimony had consistently and systematically diverged from the statement that the witness had given to the prosecution was enough to have the witness declared hostile,” Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji explained.
Supporting the Prosecution’s application, the Legal Representative of Victims Orchlon Narantsetseg said treating the witness as hostile would prove that he was lying when he claimed to have been enticed to testify against Ruto.
“This witness appears to us clearly and deliberately impugning the prosecution’s case and also clearly supportive of the defence case. Your honours therefore there’s no need to further require the prosecution counsel to continue his questioning using neutral forms of questions. Your honours allow the prosecution to question this witness with closed and leading questions.”
But while allowing the Prosecution the slack to proceed with this line of questioning, Osuji cautioned them against stretching it too far.
“Isn’t the object of your line of questioning to say that the witness should not be believed in that assertion? Just keep an eye when you’re overdoing it. See when you’ve done enough and move on,” he directed.
The prosecution then went on to try and discount the testimony the witness gave on Wednesday.
Testifying that he did not write the statement the Prosecution had depended on and only appended his signature after being enticed by a woman he claimed was also a witness.
“She told me don’t worry about it. Your work was only to sign it. I also did the signing of the document,” he testified.
P-0495 who is the 23rd prosecution witness is the second to testify via video link and to testify after being compelled to do so after withdrawing his testimony.
Ruto and Sang’s defence teams will have an opportunity to question the witness on Friday.