, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Uganda and Namibia have filed separate applications seeking to be enjoined as ‘friends of the court’ to give submissions on use of the amended Rule 68 in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.
Their applications follow one made by the African Union Commission also seeking to be enjoined in the appeal challenging admission of prior recorded statements of five witnesses.
Uganda’s Attorney General Fredrick Ruhindi said state parties that negotiated the amendment to Rule 68 should be allowed to explain what was agreed upon during the Assembly of State Parties negotiations in 2013.
“The legitimate expectations of States Parties that negotiated the text of the amended rule ought to be brought to bear on the chamber’s understanding of the rule,” he stated.
If the Chamber locks out countries that negotiated the Rule, he said it will be undermining the legislative organ of the Rome Statute.
“To disavow the understanding of the negotiators of this rule as immaterial would be to render impotent a critical legislative organ of the Rome Statute and frustrate the legislative intention of the Rule as amended,” Ruhindi explained.
Namibia’s Attorney General Sakeus Shanghala who also sent an independent request said it was important for the court to give member states present during the ASP a chance to submit their views in the appeal by defence teams of Ruto and Sang to give the court information that is important in the determination of the case.
Attorney General Githu Muigai last month made a similar application but ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has urged the court to reject it.
Ruto and Sang’s defence have appealed the decision in which the Trial Chamber allowed the prosecution to use prior recorded evidence of five witnesses who recanted their evidence at the trial stage.
The court will now decide if Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and the AU will be allowed to participate in the appeal as amicus curiae.
The Appeals Chamber will then make a determination if Trial Chamber V (a) made a mistake in allowing the prosecution to use prior recorded evidence of the five witnesses.
The case is then expected to proceed to the next level which is application of a motion of no-case-answer.