Kenya must produce witnesses, says ICC

THE ICC wants the Kenyan Government to produce the eight recalcitrant witnesses required by the prosecution in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.

Court Spokesman Fadi Abdalla told the Star yesterday that the government ought to produce the eight as ordered by the Court in April, now that its request to suspend the decision has been quashed.

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The case against Ruto went into a lull last week after Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda ran out of witnesses. The trial judges will determine how the case proceeds when the current judicial recess ends on August 8.

The eight witnesses are no longer cooperating with the Court or willing to testify. “The Government of Kenya has an obligation to cooperate fully with the Court by serving the summonses on the witnesses and by assisting in compelling their attendance before the Chamber, by the use of compulsory measures as necessary,” the April decision said.

The April decision is currently under appeal.

Abdalla said the ongoing appeal of the April decision will not not impact the course of the trial hearings at this stage, owing to the rejection of the suspensive effect on June 17.

In the April decision, the judges demanded the appearance of the eight witnesses “as a matter of obligation upon them”. They said they must testify before the trial Chamber by video-link or at a location in Kenya on dates to be determined by the prosecution.

They requested the Kenyan Government to ensure the appearance of the witnesses by using “all means available under the law”. They asked the government to communicate the summonses to the witnesses and to facilitate, “by way of compulsory measure as necessary”, their appearance.

“Make appropriate arrangements for the security of the indicated witnesses until they appear and complete their testimonies before the Chamber,” the judges said.

They also directed the registry to prepare and transmit the subpoenas (summonses) to the witnesses. Yesterday, Abdalla said trial in the Ruto case adjourned because the prosecutor did not have any other witnesses to call before the judicial recess. “The Chamber will inform the parties and participants about when they would reconvene after the judicial recess,” he said.

– the-star.co.ke

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