ICC Appeal Judges to decide on compelling of witnesses

October 6, 2014 3:11 pm
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Trial Chamber V (a) made the decision on April 17, a decision that the defence teams challenged by its application to the Appeal’s Chamber/FILE
Trial Chamber V (a) made the decision on April 17, a decision that the defence teams challenged by its application to the Appeal’s Chamber/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – The ICC Appeals Chamber will on Thursday issue judgment on the decision of the Trial Chamber V(a) on summoning nine witnesses in the trial against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

This was after the defence teams of Ruto and Sang in June 2014 challenged a decision made by the Trial Chamber in which Kenya was directed to compel nine witnesses to testify.

“On Thursday, 9 October 2014, at 1500 (Hague local time), the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will hold an open court session to read a summary of its judgment on Mr Ruto and Mr Sang Defence teams’ appeal against the Trial Chamber V(a),” the Public Affairs Unit indicated.

Trial Chamber V(a) made the decision on April 17, a decision that the defence teams challenged by its application to the Appeal’s Chamber.

The Appeals Chamber on June 17 rejected a request by the defence for a suspensive effect in which it wanted the nine witnesses not to testify until the Appeal’s Chamber issued a decision if they should be compelled to testify.

Though the Appeal’s Chamber is to make a judgement on the matter on Thursday, four of the nine witnesses have so far testified after an agreement between the Government of Kenya and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The four are among the nine witnesses who recanted their evidence or told the court they were no longer willing to testify before the ICC.

The four had told the court that their initial statements to the ICC investigators were false and that they had fabricated information to make their testimonies look credible.

They further alleged that they were coached by persons whose identity remained confidential to the public to fabricate information to fix Ruto and Sang.

The four witnesses also told the court that they were promised financial gains and a better life in a foreign country.

So far, the four have been declared hostile witnesses after recanting their evidence and telling the ICC judges that they fabricated information they gave in their initial statements.

The dictionary of law describes a hostile witness also referred to as an adverse or an unfavourable witness as a witness who during the testimony at trial gives a testimony that directly is antagonistic or appears to diverge to the legal position of the party who called the witness.

In this case, the witnesses declared hostile have all diverged from their initial statements and accused the prosecution of coaching them to fabricate evidence.

The 25th witness completed his testimony on Monday evening.

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