, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 8 – Judges in the International Criminal Court trial against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang have allowed the prosecution to investigate why witness P0604 recanted his evidence.
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji while granting the application said Trial Chamber V (a) judges had observed that the witness gave evidence that contradicted his initial testimony.
“The chamber has noted the extensive degree to which the witness’s testimony has diverged from the statement he originally provided to the prosecution. In the circumstances, the chamber considers it appropriate to permitting the prosecution to proceed to explore these areas in the course of such diverge by cross-examination,” the judge ruled.
The witness who took to the stand last Thursday has told the court that he fabricated information to fix Deputy President William Ruto.
On Monday afternoon he further told the court that he listened to a different radio station and not Joshua arap Sang’s Kass FM station.
He explained to the court that he gave false information to also fix Sang because of the promises made to him by the prosecution if he agreed to testify against the accused persons.
The prosecution last Friday made an application requesting the court to declare the witness hostile but the judges said it was too early to make such a ruling at the time.
Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg told the court that the witness had completely deviated from his initial statement to the investigators of the court.
“It is apparent that the record speaks to itself that every material aspect of the witness’s statement is now changed from every aspect which incriminates either the accused in any significant way. Every single meeting which he testified about in which Mr. Ruto was present or spoke or supposed allies of Mr. Ruto spoke has been denied,” Steynberg complained when he emphasised on his earlier application.
Steynberg told the court that the witness even denounced evidence that he supposedly implied Sang ‘even when in fact he did not implicate’ him.
According to Steynberg, the witness failed to make concessions of his allegations and also was inconsistent with his answers including the long pauses which he took before responding to the prosecution’s questions.
The witness who has been compelled to testify alongside two others will now have to explain to the court why he changed the initial statement in which he accused Ruto and Sang of masterminding the 2008 post election violence in the Rift Valley.
On Monday, he disowned his statement to the prosecution that he attended a harambee meeting in which Ruto incited Kalenjins to attack Kikuyus.
He also said he did not attend an alleged planning meeting at Ruto’s Sugoi home when he told the court that he had in fact never been at Ruto’s home.