, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – The 25th witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang has been declared hostile by the International Criminal Court (ICC) judges.
The witness who is the fourth to take the stand after being compelled to testify recanted his evidence and is the fourth to be declared hostile in the case.
“The chamber is satisfied that the circumstances of this witness’ testimony thus far do satisfy the test of consistent and systematic divergence between testimony of a witness and the witness’ previous statement thus warranting the declaration of hostility. On that basis the application of the Prosecutor is granted. So the witness may continue the testimony,” presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji ruled.
Witnesses P0604, P0495 and P0516 who appeared after summonses were issued also recanted their testimonies and were declared hostile after the prosecutions made applications.
The prosecution in its application indicated that witness P0637 had consistently and significantly diverged from his initial statements he gave to the prosecution. The prosecution further asked for the witness to be declared hostile for implicating the prosecution investigators in bad faith.
Ruto’s lawyer Essa Faal was the first of the defence lawyers to start cross-examining the 25th witness.
The court on Wednesday adjourned prematurely after the witness said he was unwell and needed to see a doctor.
The trial against Ruto and Sang was expected to take a break on Thursday but judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said it would resume on Monday as the 25th witness was still on the stand.
Next week, the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta takes centre stage on October 7 and 8 when two status conferences are expected to discuss Kenya’s cooperation with the court and also the progress of the case trial which has been postponed indefinitely on three occasions.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court that she does not have evidence against President Kenyatta and blamed the Government of Kenya for failing to furnish her office with documents that she requires to prove the president’s alleged responsibility in crimes committed in Nakuru and Naivasha during the 2008 post election violence.
Trial Chamber V (b) judges on Wednesday directed President Kenyatta’s physical presence on 8th rejecting an application in which he had requested the court to vacate the date as he would be attending a regional meeting.
The decision of the court has resulted to an argument with some urging him to heed the judges directive while others had advised him not to attend the status conference.