, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – The defence teams of Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Joshua arap Sang have up to Friday to file a motion of-no-case-answer.
The landmark motion will determine the next stage of the controversial Kenyan case that has hit headlines for many reasons with the hottest of them being credibility of witnesses.
In not more than 100 pages, Ruto and Sang’s defence counsel will put up a spirited argument to convince judges beyond reasonable doubt that the prosecutor’s evidence is insufficient hence the case should end at that point.
Initially, the defence had a page limit of up to 40 pages but requested for an extension which was granted by Trial Chamber V (a) which is hearing the case against Ruto and Sang.
They were also given more time – up to October 23 within which to file the motion of no-case-to-answer instead of 14 days after the prosecutor closed her case on September 10.
Oral submissions will be heard during a hearing slated for November 24.
Ruto and Sang are accused of three counts of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution.
A motion of no-case-answer is made for every of the three charges.
If the motion is fully or partially rejected, it will mean that the accused persons have a case to answer.
The case will then progress to the next level where the defence will start calling its witnesses to defend the accused persons.
During the cross examination of the 29 prosecution witnesses who testified, Ruto’s and Sang’s lawyers discredited their evidence.
They argued that ICC bribed them and promised them relocation and other goodies to lure them to accept to testify.
They further claimed that the witnesses especially those who recanted were determined to tell the truth as the case progressed hence the divergence from their primary testimony.
The teams also alleged that ICC had coached its witnesses including amending their evidence to fit in the prosecution’s argument.
Those are some of the issues that defence teams of Ruto and Sang are expected to capitalise on in the motion of no-case-answer.
Other arguments include allegations that the ICC investigators did not conduct their independent investigations but instead relied on secondary reports and groups.
Before a determination on the motion of no-case-to-answer, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had requested the Appeals chamber to first rule on use of prior recorded statements of five witnesses who recanted.