Not enough evidence to prosecute Ruto, Bensouda admits
28 May 2015, 15:50
Nairobi - International Criminal Court ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said that she has not enough incriminating evidence to prosecute Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.
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She says that 6 witnesses, who she terms as key to the case have all withdrawn their earlier statements, plunging the case into doubt.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 filed on May 21.
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
Ruto has stated on several occasions that he is innocent and that he will prove his case to the ICC judges.
His team is currently working on forcing the ICC to withdraw the charges against him due to lack of evidence.
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