Fourth ICC witness disowns prosecution evidence
NAIROBI, Oct 21 – The fourth witness in the trial against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang on Monday disowned part of the testimony presented by the prosecution which sought to link Ruto to the term madoadoa.
The witness differed with the prosecution after telling the court that he never attended a rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret during the 2007 election campaigns as indicated by the prosecution.
During cross examination by Ruto’s lawyer Essa Faal, the witness said he cannot recall ever telling the prosecution that he attended a rally at the 64 stadium despite the prosecution correcting his statement and indicating that he attended the rally.
“We have the clarification document provided by the office of The Prosecutor. In paragraph 8 it says ‘the witness also indicated that he attended a rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret sometimes during the campaign period. Ruto didn’t mention ‘madoadoa’ in this rally. He was just campaigning for his party’. Do you recall saying that to the prosecution,” Faal asked, prompting the witness’ firm reply of “I can’t recall. I don’t remember attending a rally at 64 Stadium.”
“Mr Witness, this event occurred just one week ago, you cannot recall what you said to the prosecution one week ago. I have read it out for you to remember, you still cannot remember, is that the case?” Faal wondered informing the court that the prosecution even video-taped the evidence.
“Unless I might have forgotten,” the witness responded; “you have read to me. I do not recall clarifying inaccuracies in my statement to the prosecution.”
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji who also asked the witness for clarifications over the matter said the evidence given by the prosecution will not be accepted since it contrasted the evidence given by the witness.
Osuji told the prosecution that it should have noted that statement but not included it as evidence.
Faal further prodded the witness over his evidence that he heard Ruto telling a crowd near the Transnational Bank in Eldoret to drive Kikuyus who he referred as madoadoa out of the town.
According to the witness, Ruto was not using a microphone when he addressed the crowd. He said it was the only place he heard Ruto refer to the Kikuyus as madoadoa and not in the context of three piece voting for the Orange Democratic Movement.
Faal however, described the stopover at the Transnational Bank as one that was noisy with people shouting and clapping and that the witness was about 20 metres away when he heard Ruto say that Kikuyus should be driven out of Eldoret.
The Defence Counsel further tasked the Witness identified in court documents as P0376 over his earlier statement in which he told the prosecution that he had read in one of the Kenyan newspapers that Ruto used the term madoadoa in the context of attacks on Kikuyus.
According to Faal, the witness did not read such a statement as he had told the prosecution in his evidence against Ruto.
“Can you confirm that you have never read or seen the issue reported in any newspaper in Kenya?” Faal asked.
“It must have been reported, only that I cannot recall the date and time especially in the newspapers. It might have been reported once or twice, I could not have read it… not usually that I read all newspapers published in Kenya daily. I just read one public newspaper,” witness responded.
“You said you could not have read it but you still want the court to believe that it must have been published, is that the case? In fact you are only guessing Mr Witness,” Faal insinuated.
“I am not guessing because the publications in Kenya do not report same issues daily, they normally come up with different publications and stories every day which do not correspond each other,” the witness answered.
“I am correct in saying that you never read it in any newspaper because it was never published,” Faal asserted.
Ruto’s defence lawyer further asked the witness to clarify whether the attacks in Eldoret were spontaneous.
He said the witness gave contradicting information in which he said the attacks were planned and again said the attacks were not planned.
The witness who concluded his evidence to the court on Monday also admitted to the court that he had changed his original testimony after a meeting with prosecutors.
Meanwhile, the fifth witness P0487 who had wanted to testify in public took to the stand on Monday.
They agreed to testify under same protective measures as the other four other witness whose voices and images were distorted including limited private sessions, on advise of the Witness and Victims Unit (VWU) which analysed his position.-capitalfm