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Daily Nation : February 18th 2014
DAILY NATION Tuesday February 18, 2014 ICC TRIALS | Sang advocate opposes summons request Bensouda accuses Ruto of bribing 7 witnesses There is evidence to prove many were intimidated and given handouts, trial lawyers claim BY DAVE OPIYO @DaveOpiyo firstname.lastname@example.org T he prosecution yesterday claimed it had evidence to prove that the seven witnesses who withdrew from the trial of Deputy President William Ruto had been bribed and intimidated to do so. Trial lawyer Anton Styn- berg said this explained why witnesses P-0015, P-0016, P-0336, P-0397, P-0516, P0524 and P-0495 withdrew their cooperation with the office of the prosecutor. He made the submissions during the continuation of a status conference convened to discuss whether the witnesses could be summoned to testify before the International Criminal Court. Undue influence “The prosecution has evidence in the case of each of the seven witnesses of intimidation, bribery and other improper influence which has been the approximate cause of the failure to cooperate with the office of the prosecutor,” he said. He spoke as the trial against Mr Ruto and one time radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang resumed with witness Dr Herve Maupeu also known as P464 giving his submission under the guidance of trial lawyer Lucio Garcia. The witness, who spoke entirely in French, is a European based expert, who is expected to provide the historical roots of the violence. While urging the court to order that the witnesses be brought to testify, Mr Stynberg said the prosecution believed that their original statements represented true accounts of what transpired during the 2008 violence and any subsequent denials or recantations were false. The witnesses, he said, gave their statements voluntarily over a period of several hours, even days, pointing out that in the case of five out of the seven, their testimonies were audio recorded, putting further safeguards against improper influence. The trial lawyer said only three out of the seven witnesses who include P15, P16 and P336 had recanted their statements. “The remaining four witnesses have refused to testify...If removed from any undue influence and under the prosecution’s questions, they may tell the truth and confirm their original statements,” he went on. Earlier on, Mr Wilfred Nderitu, who represents victims of the violence, said the creation of the International Crimes Act was intended to give power to the courts to summon witnesses. He said the Rome Statute also recognises both voluntary and compelled appearance before court. However, Mr Karim Khan, the Deputy President’s lawyer and Mr Katwa Kigen, who represents Mr Sang, differed with Mr Nderitu and the prosecution’s arguments. “If a witness does not vol- untarily want to appear before court, he should not be forced to appear before it and testify,” said Mr Khan. Mr Kigen on the other hand said; “The court has no com- pelling power. The evidence issued must be voluntary. If the government issues summons requiring a witness to appear before the court, it will be the witness that will determine whether to attend the court or not.” DENISH OCHIENG | NATION Children play on the railway line that passes through Sinai slums in Nairobi oblivious of the risk. The line is used by trains moving between Nairobi-Mombasa. ‘‘ If a witness does not want to testify, he should not be forced,” Mr Karim Khan ‘‘ The remaining witnesses have refused to testify,” Mr Aton Stynberg National News 3 DANGER | Children play on railway Kalenjins wanted land, expert tells Hague court BY NATION REPORTER The trial of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang resumed yesterday with an expert offering insight to the historical background to the 2008 post-election violence. Dr Herve Maupeu, a European based expert on Kenyan issues who is witness P464, explained to The Hague-based court the historical roots of the violence. While answering questions from trial lawyer Lucio Garcia, Dr Maupeu, who spoke entirely in French, said the rejection of the draft referendum in 2005, gave rise to a new crop of leaders in the Rift Valley that were led by Deputy President William Ruto. Mr Ruto, he said, was to later on become the spokesman of Kalenjins. He said the refusal by Kalenjins to endorse the draft constitution was intentional and that their political leaders had to follow suit. Rejection of the draft However, asked by presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji what he meant, Dr Maupeu said Kalenjins at the time did not want to hear anything from their leaders apart from the rejection of the draft. “They needed to get ownership of land and for the politicians, this was a message they had to transmit,” said the witness. “Those who opposed this view had their properties destroyed, for instance, the former President Moi. Other leaders had their farms razed to the ground,” he went on. “This indeed shows that there was violence in the community itself. It was a way for the community to put pressure on their leaders.” On the Majimbo question, Dr Maupeu said various communities had different views. He said according to the Ka- lenjins, land ownership was the central issue, while for Luos in Nyanza, it was not.
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