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Daily Nation : February 15th 2014
6 | National News ICC | AG, Ruto and Sang’s lawyers oppose bid to compel testifiers Githu fights request to summon witnesses Attorney-General says treaty requires voluntary appearance in court BY DAVE OPIYO @DaveOpiyo email@example.com T he government and defence lawyers yesterday vigorously opposed a request by the ICC prosecutor for the Hague court to summon seven witnesses who have recanted their testimony. Attorney-General Githu Muigai (right) and the defence teams of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang said if the witnesses were not willing to testify, then they will not assist the prosecution to facilitate their appearance in court. Prof Muigai said the court should not contemplate issuing an order for Kenya to summon the witnesses as this violates the Rome Statute. “The government cannot compel any person who does not volunteer to be a witness to become one without violating the Kenyan Constitution,” he said adding: “The treaty requires volun- tary appearance of witnesses to testify before the court either in The Hague or anywhere else,” he added. The prosecution had requested the trial chamber to exercise its powers under article 64(6) (b) to “require the attendance and testimony of witnesses” P- 0015, P-0016, P-0336, P0397, P-0516, P-0524 and P-0495. The witnesses, all of whom were under the protection of the court, gave statements providing information that addressed the core planning events that led to the 2007 post-election violence and alleged personal involvement by the accused. According to the prosecu- tion, the witnesses described the pre-election meetings they attended, some at Mr Ruto’s home, where the post-election violence was planned and in which participants, including the deputy president, distributed money and weapons. Their identities were ‘‘ disclosed to the defence between February and March 2013, but following months of cooperation, the witness either refused to communicate with the prosecution and have said they no longer wish to testify. They also gave evidence on how Mr Sang’s incited violence through his Kass FM broadcasts. The prosecution argued that they had exhausted all avenues to compel the witnesses to testify and requested the assistance of the government to summon them. According to Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart, the witnesses’ evidence will be necessary for the presentation of their case and for the Chamber’s determination of the truth. “The interests of justice are best served by having these witnesses appear and testify,” said Mr Stewart. Mr Stewart said the wit- The government cannot compel any person who does not volunteer to be a witness to become one.” Attorney-General Githu Muigai su nesses could be compelled by the court to either testify via video link or before the Trial Chamber sitting in Kenya. Mr Karim Khan, the deputy President’s lawyer and Ms Caroline Buisman, representing Mr Sang however opposed the request. Mr Khan on the other hand said the latest request by the prosecution was as a result of “a failed marriage between them and the witnesses, who they induced by a promise of a better life.” VALENTINES | A mother’s love SATURDAY NATION February 15, 2014 BRIEFLY PARIS Congolese musician Kester Emeneya is dead The Congolese music frater- nity is mourning the death of yet another Lingala benga beat musician. Victoria Eleison band leader King Kester Emeneya, a vibrant singer who excelled at lyrical compositions, died in France on Thursday morning. According to Paris-based Congolese musician Nyboma Mwandido, Kester, died at a hospital on the outskirts of Paris. Emeneya (above), 57, who had been ailing with a heart problem for a while, cut his musical teeth in the 1970s, and would later shine in his stint with Papa Wemba’s Viva La Musica Band. But Emeneya would later break away in the 80s, to form his band. NAIROBI Kemri challenges order on sacking of workers Former workers of a parastatal PHOEBE OKALL I NATION Mama Ngina Kenyatta shares a moment with children at Mama Ngina Children’s Home in Nairobi during Valentine’s Day celebrations yesterday. Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14 every year, is marked in February worldwide by lovers. have to wait longer to get their jobs back. This is after the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) lodged an appeal against an earlier High Court decision ordering the parastatal to hire the employees again. Yesterday, Kemri lawyers criticised the High Court decision saying it lacked the ability to rule justly. Judges had ordered Kemri to reinstate the 35 workers sacked in 2010. Leaders from 40 countries sign deal to save wildlife BY NATION CORRESPONDENT World leaders from more than 40 countries have signed an agreement to help save endangered wildlife from extinction. The decision was made at a conference in London and chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and attended by among others the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The London Declaration, which was signed by the leaders after the conference, contains commitments and practical steps to end the illegal trade in rhino horns, tiger parts and elephant tusks that fuel criminal activity worth over $19 billion each year. According to a press release by the British High Commission, the trade also undermines economic opportunities in developing countries and threatens the survival of entire species. “Key states—including Botswana, Chad, China, Gabon, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Tanzania and Vietnam alongside the US and Russia—have signed up actions that will help eradicate the demand for wildlife products, strengthen law enforcement and support the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by wildlife crime.” ACTION POINTS Make poaching a serious crime n Support for continuing the existing international ban on commercial trade in elephant ivory. n Renouncing the use of products within governments from species threatened with extinction. n Amending legislation to make poaching and wildlife trafficking “serious crimes” under the terms of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.
February 14th 2014
February 16th 2014