NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6 – Deputy President William Ruto’s Lead Counsel Karim Khan on Wednesday said former International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo should be held responsible for the bungled Kenyan cases.
Speaking a day after the ICC judges vacated charges and discharged Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang, Khan blamed Ocampo for rushing to press charges without evidence.
“The court has said the evidence has fallen apart. Luis Moreno Ocampo has to answer as to why on earth did he rush to name the big six in a rush that was not based on proper diligence investigations?” he wondered.
According to Khan, Ocampo tainted the image of the six Kenyans when he named them as suspects who masterminded the 2008 Post Election Violence in Kenya.
He said it was especially torturous for Ruto and Sang who eventually walked out of the process six years after Ocampo pressed charges against them.
Khan said he was convinced that the Kenyan cases lacked evidence and that the suspects named were falsely put on Ocampo’s list.
He described the Kenyan cases before the ICC as time consuming and expensive especially for the accused who had to bear costs to defend their innocence.
“After six years of turmoil millions of Euros spent by the ICC, disruption in the personal lives of all the six – we have with yesterday’s decision a clear unequivocal assertion by the majority that no reasonable trial chamber could possibly convict,” Khan charged.
According to him, the prosecution’s case was built on unreliable evidence supported by lying witnesses.
He singled out allegations made by one of the witnesses who alleged that he witnessed Ruto holding a meeting with a man who had died seven years ago.
Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen also recited pieces of evidence in which some witnesses alleged that they saw Ruto slapping former Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kivuitu.
In reference to Judge Robert Fremr’s concurring opinion, Khan said the judges found that there were serious inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s evidence.
He likened the prosecution’s attitude to what looked more like a reality TV show than a judicial matter handling serious allegations against ‘human beings’.
“He (Fremr) talks about the gaping holes in the prosecution’s case – the speculative nature – this is a man’s life. This is keeping up with the Kardashians – some kind of TV show that sells good copy.”
“We are dealing with human beings… their families, and when the defence has exposed rotten foundations and the judges say – yes you are right – I think it should not stick to the throats of anybody who believes in justice,” Khan responded to Victims Legal Representative who explained that the judges’ decision did not mean an acquittal.
Kigen while appreciating the ruling of the judges however was discontented by the mistrial conclusion of the judges who pointed at incidences of witness interference and political interference of the case.
He said he was determined to clear Sang of the allegation since he is not a politician and not a powerful person who had the capacity to interfere with witnesses.
Khan on the other hand said his team was consulting to decide on the next steps following the decision that discharged the accused persons of the ICC process but declared the judgment a mistrial.