NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is on Wednesday expected to hold a status conference to discuss the progress of the trial against Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang.
Parties in the case will be expected to discuss the progress of the case which is now in the final stage of the prosecution’s case.
It is understood that judges of Trial Chamber V (a) agreed to hold the conference after the final prosecution witness failed to show up for the second day on Tuesday.
The trial adjourned again after Witness P0727 failed to show up.
On Monday, the trial adjourned prematurely with the hopes that the prosecution would locate the witness to testify on Tuesday morning. However, the prosecution suffered a setback after failing to get the witness who it had indicated had key evidence against Ruto and Sang.
The judges of Trial Chamber V (a) are expected to make a decision on the way the trial will progress after the witness hitch which has seen the last two sessions of the trial this year postponed on several occasions.
On February 23, the judges issued summons to witness P0727 to testify via video link from a secret location in The Hague after the prosecution insisted that he be compelled to testify.
The witness had placed new conditions on the prosecution before he could testify.
If the witness will not show up at all, the prosecution which indicated Witness P0727 was the last of its witnesses will start preparing its closing remarks, depending on the direction the judges will give after the unplanned adjournment.
The defence teams of Ruto and Sang will then have 14 days within which to file a motion-of-no-case to answer.
If the judges accept the application in its entirety, the case against the two will conclude meaning the prosecution will not have secured a conviction. But if the motion is fully or partially rejected, it means the defence teams will individually proceed make their case where they will be allowed to call witnesses.
The motion of no-case-to-answer is made for every charge.
Ruto and Sang are each accused of three charges of murder, forcible transfer of population and persecution.
Ruto is accused of ‘being criminally responsible as an indirect co-perpetrator’ during the 2008 Post Election Violence in Kenya whereas Sang is accused ‘of having otherwise contributed to the crimes committed’.
So far, 29 witnesses have testified during the trial that kicked off on September 10, 2013.
Nine of them were compelled to testify including witness P0727 who refused to show up on Monday and Tuesday.
Two of the nine witnesses alleged that they had been approached and asked to recant their evidence to the prosecution.
Most of the other witnesses who were compelled to testify however recanted their evidence and claimed that they had been bribed and promised better lives outside Kenya if they agreed to give evidence against the accused persons.