Friday, July 12, 2024

Video: Frustration and confusion for Kenyan MPs as ICC witness testify in private,

The International Criminal Court judges have ruled that the first prosecution witness will continue giving her testimony in private sessions.

ICC Trial Chamber V presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said the decision was reached following attempts to reveal the identity of witness 536, who took the stand on Tuesday.

Below are excerpts of Thursday’s open session.

12:09 Justice Eboe-Osuji adjourns court for ten minutes to deliberate on the matter.

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12:08 Court is back in session

12:02 Court goes into closed session.

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12:01 Nderitu: I request the Chamber to take appropriate action.

12:00 Victims’ lawyer Wilfred Nderitu says the circumstances are special, the Chamber may give exceptional measures to protect a witness. In this case, the witness is a victim.

11:58 Kigen: Any changes made in the course of the trial would be unfair to my client. The trial should be heard in the open.

11:57 Sang’s lawyer Katwa Kigen says protective measures in place are adequate.

11:57 Khan: The world needs to hear the lies in this case against William Ruto.

11:54 Khan: The thrust of allegations against my client should be made publicly. We want to expose the lies in this case. That should not be hidden.

11:52 Justice Eboe-Osuji says the public would understand the need for protective measures for witnesses.

11:50 Khan: We have evidence that a group of witnesses were promised that they would testify in closed sessions.

11:45 Ruto lawyer Karim Khan tells the Chamber that the witness should testify in open court.

11:43 Court goes into closed session.

11:40 Court is in session.

Prosecution witness 536 is expected to continue with her testimony in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Chamber issued a a terse warning to Kenyans: If you reveal the identity of a protected witness, you will be investigated and prosecuted.

The judges went into private session most of the day to hear arguments about the safety of witnesses.

At issue was the publication of pictures alleged to be those of a witness before the court and the question of what the National Assembly and the Senate to withdraw from the court mean for witnesses.

The court is hearing the case against Mr Ruto and Mr Sang, who are charged with crimes against humanity relating to the 2007/8 post-election violence. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Witness 536 is a survivor of the Kiambaa Church arson that killed at least 35 people.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, she identified Stephen Kipleting Chamalan as the man who commanded the youth who burnt mainly women and children as they cowered in the church on January 1,

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