, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The 29th witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang was declared hostile on Tuesday by the International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting in The Hague.
This was after the prosecution led by Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steynberg made an application after the witness recanted his original evidence to the prosecution.
“It is whether the testimony of the witness before the court has been in all or in part deliberately or systematically inconsistent with a prior statement. Having considered the matter the chamber is satisfied that matter has been met in this case and the prosecutor’s application has been granted,” Presiding Judge Chile Eboe Osuji ruled.
The witness in his original testimony said he had attended a meeting in which Ruto was present but he later recanted on Tuesday when he said he did not attend the meeting on December 14, 2007.
The witness accused the prosecution of doctoring his statement to allege that he attended the meeting where Ruto was present. Whereas the prosecution argues that the witness in his original statement said he attended a meeting on December 14, 2007, the witness denied ever attending such a meeting.
After a back and forth with the witness, the prosecution requested the judges to declare the witness hostile like it happened to four other witnesses who recanted their evidence in the previous session of trial.
The court considered concerns raised by the defence over the translations which they said were not consistent with Kenyan Kiswahili.
Deputy President William Ruto after being allowed to speak by the presiding Judge explained that the Congolese translator was translating Kenyan Kiswahili inconsistently.
Meanwhile, the judges granted Ruto excusal from attendance on Thursday and Friday but ordered him to return to The Hague based court on Monday and Tuesday to fulfill the five day presence order given when he was granted excusal from continuous presence.