, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 10 – The 22nd witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang was on Wednesday taken to task by the defence, during which he admitted lying to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in his initial statement.
Ruto’s lawyer Essa Faal who was the first to cross-examine the witness exhibited several documents to counter evidence submitted to the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) when P0604 was recruited as a witness.
The first to be disproved were entries in his diary in which Faal alleged that all recordings touching on the 2008 Post Election Violence were entered almost at the same time in a foreign country using the same pen.
“These diaries were filled when you were meeting OTP investigators in that foreign country in 2013. Do you still stand by that? All the PEV events seem to have been written with the same pen almost at the same time,” he posed to the witness who concurred with his statement.
Of particular concern was the Orange Democratic Movement party primaries entered in the diary on November 15, 2007.
The witness in his earlier statement to the prosecution said he entered the event on the same day it was held.
However on cross-examination on Wednesday, P0604 said he was not sure when the primaries were held.
Faal presented to the court a newspaper article showing the party primaries were conducted on November 16, 2007 for all political parties and not just ODM as indicated in the diary of the witness.
The witness further disowned his initial evidence on meetings that he told the OTP he attended, where he claimed he heard Ruto inciting Kalenjins against Kikuyus living in the Rift Valley.
The defence counsel exhibited school records of a visitor’s book for one of the alleged locations where the witness said Ruto had attended a harambee meeting.
The witness admitted to the court that he did not attend the meeting as he had earlier told the court.
Before concluding the first day of cross-examination, Faal produced further supporting documents to illustrate that Ruto on November 19, 2007 was held up the whole day in a meeting at the ODM offices in Lavington and did not attend a harambee in Rift Valley as alleged by the witness in the initial statement.
He read to the court a newspaper article which reported that ODM Pentagon members spent the entire day on November 19, 2007 in a closed-door meeting with the party’s electoral committee.
Faal informed the court that he will take another one and half day to cross-examine the witness while Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen indicated that he will require one session.
Witness P0604, was declared hostile by the prosecution, although it had assured it would not use his evidence to press charges against him.
Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg during the testimony of the witness expressed dismay over the manner in which he had denounced his initial testimony.
He warned the witness several times that giving false evidence was an offence.
The witness has already admitted that he gave false evidence to the prosecution so that he could get ‘goodies’ promised to him by the prosecution should he fix Ruto.
The prosecution earlier made an application saying that where a witness refuses to testify or recants evidence, initial statements given to the prosecutions should be accepted as the evidence.
However, it will be for the judges to make a determination on the matter.
The trial will resume on Thursday afternoon.