ICC orders eight witnesses to testify in Ruto-Sang case
The summonses by the court follow a request by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda against the witnesses who had indicated that they no longer wished to testify.
The ruling was arrived at in a majority decision by the Trial Chamber judges.
The ICC judges also requested the Kenya Government to co-operate in ensuring the witnesses appear before the court.
“The Chamber found that the Government of Kenya has an obligation to cooperate fully with the Court: by serving the subpoenas to the witnesses and by assisting in compelling their attendance before the Chamber, by the use of compulsory measures as necessary,” the ICC noted.
The judges said the court has powers to exercise its functions and fulfil its mandate in an effective way, “including the power to subpoena witnesses.”
They said decision was supported by international law and provisions of the Rome Statute, “to the effect that the Rome Statute States Parties did not intend to create an ICC that is ‘in terms a substance, in truth a phantom’”
The Trial Chamber directed the court’s registry to “prepare and transmit a cooperation request to Kenya for the service of summonses by the Government of Kenya on these eight witnesses.”
It also sought Kenya’s Government’s “assistance in compelling and ensuring the eight witnesses’ appearance before the Chamber by video-link or before the Chamber convened on the territory of Kenya”
The Chamber further directed the Kenyan government to provide security for the eight witness until they appear in court.
Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are accused of crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya.