Ruto, Sang lawyers concerned over witnesses hitch
17 January 2014, 09:51
The Hague - Lawyers representing Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused Joshua arap Sang on Thursday raised their concern over witnesses hitch in the ongoing case against the two at The Hague.
They questioned why some witnesses were not showing up to testify against their clients at the International Criminal Court (ICC), arguing that this could be a deliberate plan to give false evidence against the two, The Standard reports.
However, prosecution lawyer, Anton Steynberg, downplayed the blame, saying that the hitch was due to issues related to the management of witnesses.
The prosecution has been faced with many challenges since the case began, including the withdrawal of some key witnesses from the case.
The delay of the arrival of witnesses at The Hague based court also forced the adjournment of the date for the beginning of the trial in September 2013.
ICC judges, on Wednesday ruled that Ruto is not required to be present for his entire trial.
The court ruled in October last year that Ruto could be excused only under "exceptional circumstances", reversing an earlier decision excusing him from most of his trial.
The court's latest decision stipulates that Ruto must however be present for the entirety of the reading of the verdict and, if applicable, the sentencing.
He must also be present "when victims present their views and concerns in person" and for the first five days of hearings following a recess.
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