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Ruto fate remains with ICC judges, experts say

28 November 2015, 10:17 William Korir

Nairobi - Despite the Jubilee Coalition claiming victory for DP William Ruto at the just ended Assembly of State Parties ASP meeting at the Hague, it has emerged that the final decision on recanted evidence lies with the International Criminal Court ICC trial judges.

The government in several statements and interviews, claimed that Ruto had indeed been spared the use of recanted evidence in his Crimes Against Humanity trial at the ICC after the ASP ruled that the evidence should not be used retroactively.

However, according to a number of experts, there has been no change.

The ICC trial judges still have the final say on the matter.

International legal expert Pius Njagi says that the ruling by the ASP regardless of its content does not affect the independence of the ICC and that nothing has changed thus far in fact.

" There is no change as we speak. The decision still rests in the hands of the ICC trial judges. They have an appeal on the table from Ruto's team over the matter and will rule on it come the right time," he said.

" Before the decision to use recanted statements was approved by the ICC trial judges, there was a two month consideration period. The judges must have considered the issues surrounding the use of the rule as well as other closer matters before making such a decision. They knew the background of rule 68 and I'l be damned if they made a decision only to revert to type because they did not consider legal advice," he added.

According to the government side though. This issue is signed and sealed.

" Kenya’s interpretation of Rule 68 has prevailed and therefore any use of recanted evidence cannot and must not be acceptable or applied at the ICC,” Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale who was present at the Hague said.

Ruto is trying to fight the use of 6 recanted statements in his trial. The 6 were taken up for use by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda despite the 6 either reversing their statements or refusing to testify.

The ICC though insists that the statements can be admitted into evidence as the 6 were interviewed by legitimate sources and also swore that the evidence was correct while under oath.

Further, the prosecution believes that the witnesses have been coerced into reversing the statements either through threats or monetary gain. The ICC has several arrest warrants against Kenyans believed to have taken part in influencing witnesses.


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