Boost for Ruto as ICC extends defence time

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Deputy President William Ruto yesterday got a major reprieve at the ICC when judges granted his request for more time to file his no-case-to-answer motion.

Ruto and co-accused Joshua Sang now have until October 23 to file their no-case-to-answer motions, which were due on Thursday next week.

At the same time, a judge has recused herself from hearing an appeal lodged by Ruto and Sang against the use of prior statements by prosecution witnesses who have recanted or withdrawn. She is said to have been among ICC officials who promised Kenya these statements would not be used in Kenyan cases.

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The court also increased the page limit from 40 to 100 pages for Ruto and Sang’s motions.

Ruto and Sang are charged with crimes against humanity as indirect co-perpetrators of the 2007-08 post-election violence. They deny all accusations.

The prosecution and lawyers for the victims now have until November 20 to respond. Oral arguments will be heard on November 4.

On the appeal, Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng has been replaced with Judge Péter Kovács “to ensure that there is no appearance of grounds to doubt her impartiality”.

Monageng, who is from Botswana, is among those who participated in the Assembly of States Parties that negotiated Rule 68 on admission of evidence.

She and other court officials are said to have promised that Rule 68 — permitting the use of prior statements, some recanted — would not apply retroactively to the Kenyan cases.

– the-star.co.ke

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