Ruto’s ICC trial adjourned due to availability of key witnesses

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Deputy President William Ruto’s trial at International Criminal Court has been adjourned to January next year.

The adjournment followed a request by the Prosecutor’s office to put off the case to January 13 after it emerged that a number of witnesses lined up to testify before the Christmas break would be unavailable.

Presiding Judge at Trial Chamber V (a) Chile Eboe-Osuji said the case against Mr Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang would adjourn immediately the eighth witness completes his testimony.

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“We will be resuming after the Christmas break to continue for three weeks pending the developments of the Kenyatta case. As you know, the two cases share personnel and possibly court rooms,” he stated.

LOGISTICAL CHALLENGES

The prosecution explained to the court that they were facing logistical challenges regarding the availability of key witnesses at The Hague based court.

Senior Trial Attorney Anton Steinberg said that witness P032 had notified the court that he would not be available till next year.

Mr Steinberg further told the court that witnesses P0128 and P0409 were available but only P409 was ready to travel to The Hague immediately to be at the court by Wednesday next week.

Judge Osuji however urged both the prosecution and the defence to always ensure they have proposer back-up plans to ensure the trial is not unnecessarily delayed.

The court Friday evening released a statement confirming the postponement.

“Mr Ruto and Mr Sang trial will resume on January 13 2014 for three weeks, pending logistical developments, including courtroom availability, due to the beginning of the Kenyatta trial,” the statement said.

Mr Ruto’s lead counsel Karim Khan said that it would be unfair for the prosecution to ambush them with testimonies from witness P128 and P409 saying they had adversely mentioned Mr Ruto in their testimonies.

“These two witnesses are among those listed among the last prosecution witnesses to be called it is our submission that bringing their names up the list would be unfair to our preparation,” Mr Khan said who was cross examining witness number 535 Friday.-nation

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