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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She says that 6 witnesses, who she terms as key to the case have all withdrawn their earlier statements, plunging the case into doubt.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 states.

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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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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