NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to issue two landmark rulings that legal experts warn will affect the already waning relationship between the court and African member states.
A ruling on application of Rule 68 which allows use of prior recorded statements of five witnesses in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang will set the pace starting Friday.
Africa expects the Appeals Chamber to honour alleged agreements of the ASP that evidence of recanting witnesses should not be admitted in the Kenyan case.
“What will affect the AU’s relationship with the court is the outcome of the appeal in regard to Rule 68. If the appeal succeeds and the Appeals Chamber agrees that the rule ought not to have been applied to the Kenyan case then the court might gain some much needed credibility from the AU,” international law expert, Nabil Orina explained.
Employment of Rule 68 stems from the 12th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in which African members claim they were ‘persuaded’ to support it on the basis it would not be used retrospectively.
“Officials of the court who were the ones championing the reform of the rules undertook to every delegation they were selling the amendment to that this rule would not apply retroactively,” Attorney General Githu Muigai told Capital FM News.
The AU Commission through Charles Jalloh, said application of Rule 68 in the Kenyan case “did not seem to comport with the recollections of African delegations present during the deliberations.”