Ruto, Sang ICC trial postponed

The trial of Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang at the International Criminal Court that was slated to resume on Monday has been rescheduled.

The hearing of the case will now start on January 16.

Mr Sang’s lawyer, Katwa Kigen, on Tuesday confirmed that the case had been deferred by three days.

“It is the decision of the court,” Mr Kigen told the Nation by phone.

Mr Kigen did not however say the reasons for the postponement.

There have however been discussions at ICC on whether to adjust the hearing which started in September last year.

Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are accused of crimes against humanity including murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution, allegedly committed during 2007-2008 post-election violence.

The trial is held before Trial Chamber V(a) composed of Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji (presiding), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Judge Robert Fremr.

On December 13 last year, the Appeals Chamber of the ICC dismissed Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s appeal against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II rejecting her request to amend the temporal scope the charges against William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.

In January 2012, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II had confirmed the charges against the two accused for crimes against humanity allegedly committed between January 1, 2008 and January 4, 2008 in the greater Eldoret area.

The Prosecutor sought an amendment to the temporal framework of the charges in that area to include December 30 and December 31, 2007.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial at ICC may start in May if the Office of the Prosecutor acquires vital evidential materials to support the case.

In an application filed by Ms Bensouda in December, the Trial Chamber V (b) were requested to adjourn the Kenyatta case by at least three months from the initial February 5.

The Prosecutor has also requested for the convention of a status conference in the week beginning January 27 to update the chamber on the progress of investigations being conducted to strengthen the Kenyatta case.

The request for adjournment was caused by the withdrawal of two key witnesses against President Kenyatta from the prosecutor’s witness list.

Details in the application indicated that witness identified as P-0012 recanted his previous statements after several contradictions forcing the prosecutor’s office to have him withdrawn while witness P-0011 has requested to be withdrawn.

The court had planned to treat P-0012 as an eyewitness to corroborate claims on an alleged State House meeting where retaliatory attacks against perceived ODM supporters is said to have been planned.

The witness had previously presented a statement claiming he was personally present at State House something the prosecutor wanted to use to link President Kenyatta to the Naivasha and Nakuru attacks.
Deputy President William Ruto leaving Movenpick hotel with Journalist Joshua Sang after Ruto addressed a press conference on October 15, 2013.  Photo/FILE

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