Deputy President William Ruto suffered a setback in his trial at the ICC after trial judges allowed the prosecution to use prior recorded statements of hostile witnesses.
Majority of the ICC witnesses have recanted their statements while others have mysteriously disappeared vanished without a trace. The latest ICC witnesses to be eliminated was Ruto’s village-mate Mr Yimbei whose remains were found in Tsavo National park.
William Ruto’s defense team has maintained that the deputy president is innocent and that he was fixed by Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies in the then PNU led government.
The setback on DP Ruto comes at the time when he has been accused of verbal diarrhoea by ODM supporters for his incessant attacks on Prime Minister Baba Raila Odinga, many have interrupted the ICC ruling as a curse on Ruto for the abuses on Odinga.
The ruling came on a day the battle between ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and President Uhuru Kenyattaâ€™s government was renewed. The ICC Appeals Chamber did not find that the Kenyan government failed to co-operate with the prosecution on President Kenyattaâ€™s case. However, the decision to order the trial judges to reconsider their ruling – rejecting the prosecutorâ€™s application for referral of the matter to the Assembly of States Parties – kept Bensoudaâ€™s case alive.
The dispute stems from claims that the Kenyan government failed to comply with a request to produce financial and other records relating to Uhuru. International Criminal Court (ICC) trial judges will reconsider the prosecutionâ€™s claims that the Kenyan government obstructed its investigations into the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta prompting the withdrawal of the charges against him.
The ICC Appeals Chamber yesterday granted Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda a lifeline to have the judges review her allegations that the Kenyan Government had failed to comply with a request to produce financial and other records relating to President Kenyatta. In a decision delivered yesterday by Presiding Judge Silvia Fernadez de Gurmendi, the chamber granted only one of the two requests made by Bensouda in her appeal against the trial chamberâ€™s failure to refer Kenya to the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) over alleged non-cooperation. The chamber agreed with the prosecutor that the lower chamber erred in its determination by considering irrelevant matters. It, however, rejected Bensoudaâ€™s argument that a finding of non-compliance by the lower court ought to attract automatic referral to the ASP.
Additional Reporting by the STANDARD