A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that witnesses whose statements were relied on to confirm charges against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang were members of the Party National Unity (PNU) that Ruto campaigned against in 2007.
Witness 743 said this on Monday in response to a question from Shyamala Alagendra, Rutoâ€™s lawyer. Alagendra asked the witness not to name the other witnesses in court, and the rest of her questions to Witness 743 took place in private session.
Shyamala Alagendra: Could you tell the court without mentioning any names which party all the witnesses first interviewed by the prosecution before the confirmation of charges belonged to?â€
Witness: Party of National Unity, PNU.
Ruto and Sang have been charged with three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the violence that erupted after the December 2007 presidential election.
During that election Ruto was a key leader of the Orange Democratic Movement party that was challenging the PNU of the then incumbent President Mwai Kibaki.
At the beginning of Mondayâ€™s proceedings, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said Trial Chamber V(a) directed Alagendra to complete her questioning of Witness 743 by Thursday. The judge also said Alagendra should leave enough time on Thursday for the prosecution to complete any re-examination they may wish to conduct.
Witness 743 testified in private session the whole day, except the chamberâ€™s directive and Alagendraâ€™s one question. This was also the case on Friday.Â Witness 743 will continue testifying on Tuesday.
The revelation that the prosecution witness used only members of the PNU party as witnesses will mostly likely cause a political storm as the jubilee script has been that they were fixed by Raila Odinga.