, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 14 – The African Union on Saturday once again called for the termination of the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial against Deputy President William Ruto.
The AU Executive Council made the call for termination in light of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s application to use recanted evidence against Ruto to support her case.
The AU therefore wants to be heard on the application to explain why the legal provision she’s relied on, an amendment to Rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, should not apply to the Ruto case.
The AU states that it only agreed to the amendment during the 12th Assembly of State Parties on the understanding that it would not apply, “retrospectively,” and therefore not to the Ruto case.
But Bensouda has argued that her application was made after and not before the adoption of the amendment that allows for, “prior recorded statements,” to be used in cases where the witness who gave the account is absent and cannot be found, where the witness is dead or where the witness has been influenced into not giving the testimony.
She therefore wants the original statements of five witnesses who recanted on the stand and of a sixth who completely refused to testify, admitted into evidence.
The ICC trial chamber has already declined an application by Attorney General Githu Muigai to be enjoined in the matter.
The AU has again also, requested for the suspension of proceedings against Sudan President Omar al Bashir, calling for the United Nations Security Council to withdraw its referral of the war crimes case to the ICC.
The AU Executive Council passed the resolutions on Saturday ahead of the AU Head of State Summit in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The ICC has called on South Africa, a member state, to execute the international warrant of arrest out for Bashir who is attending the Summit.