, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – Lawyers representing Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday made an application to have his International Criminal Court (ICC) case stayed and investigations conducted into a witness’ claim that he told the prosecution in June 2013 that his and all their witnesses’ statements were fabricated.
When making the application, Ruto’s lawyer Shyamala Alegandra told the court that the 29th prosecution witness’ testimony under oath went to the very heart of the case against the Deputy President or the lack thereof.
“We hope the prosecution is not going to just march on, putting away this very important information and just proceed with the witness,” she submitted.
The witness who has been on the stand since Monday and who’s identified by the pseudonym P-0743, was declared hostile on Tuesday after recanting his original statement to the prosecution.
The prosecution therefore told the chamber not to put any weight on the witness’ assertion that they were aware his original statement and those of their other witnesses were fabricated claiming that he could not be trusted.
A defence that led the judges to question why the prosecution would call a witness whose testimony could not be trusted, to the stand.
Despite raising these questions, they however declined the defence application to stay the proceedings directing that the prosecution should proceed with its examination and the defence could revisit the issue during their cross-examination.
“The application to stay the prosecutor’s continued examination of this witness is rejected and the defence will take their turn when the time comes. If they for any reason want to revisit their application it will be up to them to make the application at that time and the chamber will also rule accordingly,” Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji ruled.
The witness had in his original statement told the court that he attended a meeting during the 2007 referendum campaigns at which Ruto had called for the removal of the Kikuyu from the Rift Valley.
A statement which he denied on Tuesday leading to his being declared hostile.
On Monday he told the court that Journalist Joshua Arap Sang had campaigned for Ruto to be installed as Kalenjin leader, in the run up to the 2007 general election, on his radio show.
He also told the court that there had been nothing like the Kalenjin before Ruto.