Friday D-Day in Ruto, Sang ICC case
04 June 2015, 18:19
Nairobi - Friday will represent an important day in the trial facing Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang at the International Criminal Court ICC, with a status conference held to determine the way forward for the case.
The Status Conference will be held in the backdrop of an admission by Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that she does not have enough evidence to prosecute the two accused.
According to the ICC, the conference will be held in Courtroom 1 from 11 am to 5 PM (Kenyan time), and will seek to spell out the way forward as the prosecution finishes its submissions.
Ruto and Sang's teams are set to apply for an end to the case citing the lack of evidence and admission by Bensouda as part of their reasons.
Bensouda, in a letter to ICC judges dated May 21, states that she believes that there has been meddling in the witnesses and their accounts, which has forced them to retract their statements.
She says that 6 witnesses, who she terms as key to the case have all withdrawn their earlier statements, plunging the case into doubt.
" As a result, the Prosecution has been deprived of a significant portion of the incriminating evidence that it intended to present to Trial Chamber V (a) in support of its charges," Bensouda stated in the application.
Bensouda, in the application to ICC judges, wants her team to be allowed to rely and use statements collected and recorded outside the courtroom prior to the case to strengthen its case.
The Prosecutor said due to witness interference, the prosecution had no choice but to look for alternative ways of securing incriminating evidence to make her case water-tight.
She specifically wanted the judges to admit initial statements of the six witnesses who she argued that had incriminating evidence key to proving the criminal responsibility of Ruto and Sang.
" The Office of the Prosecutor requests the admission of the prior recorded testimony of the "corrupted witnesses" for the truth of their contents. These comprise written statements and transcripts of recorded interviews, and the annexes thereto," she said.
Bensouda further explained to the ICC judges that there was a strategy to interfere with witnesses with a clear aim of diluting the prosecution’s incriminating evidence.
She alleged that the people behind witness interference did it on behalf of Ruto and Sang.
She based her application on an amendment to Rule 68 which was subject of discussion during the Assembly of State Parties in 2013.
In the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, Rule 68 states that recorded evidence can be accepted under two conditions.
"If the Pre-Trial Chamber has not taken measures under article 56, the Trial Chamber may, in accordance with article 69, paragraph 2, allow the introduction of previously recorded audio or video testimony of a witness, or the transcript or other documented evidence of such testimony," it states.
Ruto has stated on several occasions that he is innocent and that he will prove his case to the ICC judges.
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