Bensouda says ASP deal is irrelevant


BensoudaICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has rubbished the Assembly of States Parties statement on recanted testimony in the case against Deputy President William Ruto as “irrelevant”.

The details emerged as The Hague judges rescheduled oral hearing on the no-case-to-answer motion from two days to four days – starting Tuesday next week.

In a new filing to the five-judge bench, Bensouda said the attempts to have the ASP statement on the appeals records should be rejected.

“The prosecutor submits ASP statement is irrelevant and should not be added to the appeals records,” the prosecutor said on Monday.

It has emerged shortly after the ASP meeting, Ruto’s co-accused Joshua Sang sought to have the ASP statement placed into the appeals record – to strengthen his defence.

The two suspects appealed the ruling and a decision is still pending.

The reaffirmation of non-retroactive application of the controversial Rule 68 by the ASP excited Ruto’s supporters, with Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed terming it Kenya’s victory.

“The understanding that Kenya believes on Rule 68 has been accepted by the ASP,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said.

Critics say Kenya’s purported victory is not legally binding.

The admission of prior recorded testimony sent political shock waves to the DP’s political inner circle and triggered prayer rallies.

Bensouda said Sang did not substantiate the relevance of the ASP statement.

“If, however, the Appeals Chamber is of the view the relevance of the ASP statement requires further analysis, the prosecution requests the chamber to order Sang defence to substantiate the procedural and legal basis for its addition to the record and permit the parties and participants to respond,” she said.

In its final report, the ASP said: “The Assembly recalled its resolution, dated 27 November 2013, which amended rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which, consistent with the Rome Statute, reaffirmed its understanding that the amended rule 68 shall not be applied retroactively.

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