International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Witness 637 Fails to Show Up at Ruto and Sang Trial

The prosecution has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to declare Witness 637 a hostile prosecution witness, and defense lawyers for Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang have said they support the application partially.

Trial lawyer Alice Zago made the application on Wednesday after Trial Chamber V(a) began proceedings about 50 minutes late. Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji explained that the proceedings started late “due to unforeseen events and the predisposition of the witness.”

He said the Victims and Witnesses Unit was “ceased of the situation and are monitoring it and will appraise the chamber as the need arises.” Witness 637 was absent from the video link from an undisclosed location in Nairobi. His lawyer, Gregory Mutai, was … Continue Reading

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Witness Says Three People Coached Him to Implicate Ruto and Sang

A witness in the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang said he decided against testifying in The Hague because he had second thoughts about giving evidence.

Witness 637 told the court on Tuesday three people, who were not named in open court, had coached him to implicate Ruto and Sang on the promise that they would pay him once he testified before the ICC. The witness said the coaching took place in September 2011. He told the court the three people belonged to an organization that also was not named in open court. The witness began giving his testimony on Monday via video link from an undisclosed location in Nairobi.

The … Continue Reading

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A Fifth Prosecution Witness Testifies with His Lawyer Present in Ruto and Sang Trial

Witness 637 became the fifth prosecution witness in the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang to appear with his own lawyer.

He began testifying on Monday via video link from an undisclosed location in Nairobi. The immediate previous three witnesses have given their testimony via video link from Nairobi as part of the conditions of their subpoena. Those witnesses – Witness 604, Witness 495, and Witness 516 – were among nine witnesses that Trial Chamber V(a) issued subpoenas for. Once they concluded their testimony they were discharged of their subpoena.

The prosecution had asked the court to issue orders for the witnesses to testify via video link after they ceased cooperating … Continue Reading

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Judges Reject NGO Submissions on Ntaganda Trial

International Criminal Court (ICC) judges have rejected an application by non-government organizations (NGOs) the Redress Trust and Avocats sans Frontières to present submissions related to victims’ participation in the upcoming trial of Congolese military leader Bosco Ntaganda.

Judges Robert Fremr (presiding), Kuniko Ozaki and Geoffrey Henderson determined that the information which the NGOs sought to present was already in the possession of the chamber.

“The Chamber is not persuaded that the proposed observations of the Applicants would assist it with the proper determination of issues related to the victims’ application process and the modalities of their participation,” stated the September 24, 2014 ruling.

The Chamber noted that lawyers representing victims, as well as the court’s Registry, had informed it of the victims’ views … Continue Reading

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ICC Prosecutor Opens New Central African Investigation

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor has opened a new investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2012. Earlier investigations conducted in the country led to the indictment of Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who has been on trial at the court based in The Hague since November 2010.

In a statement issued on September 24, 2014, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated that the new investigation was warranted based on information from “reliable sources” indicating that the Séléka and the anti-Balaka groups had committed crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape, forced displacement, persecution, pillaging, attacks against humanitarian missions and the use of child soldiers in combat.

“The list of atrocities is endless. I cannot ignore … Continue Reading

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Defense Lawyers Question Whether Prosecution Did Background Checks on Witness 516

Defense lawyers asked Witness 516 whether prosecution investigators went to the location he had claimed to live in during the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 presidential poll.

On Wednesday the witness had told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he lied about where he lived in his statement to the prosecution.

During his testimony that day he said he had lied about living in a place only identified by its pseudonym, location one. He said in late 2007 and early 2008 he lived in location three. He said he lied because it was part of an account he agreed to give to the prosecution on the advice of two men who assured him he would gain benefits for doing so.

Witness 516 … Continue Reading

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Witness 516 is declared a hostile prosecution witness

Judges have declared a prosecution witness hostile for the third time in the trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Trial Chamber V (a) said on Thursday it made its decision because Witness 516 had during his testimony over the past three days diverged “consistently and systematically” from the statement he gave the prosecution in November 2012.

“We feel called upon to explain that the factor of consistent and systematic divergence between testimony and previous statement is not a factor that floats in the air. It is a factor that necessarily takes its bearing from the central question that the court must answer in the case. In a criminal case … Continue Reading

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Witness Says Promise of ‘Good Life’ Induced False Claims

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he lied about where he lived before and during the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 presidential poll because two men had promised him he would be relocated from Kenya and live a good life

The witness is one of a group of nine people the court has ordered to testify under subpoena, at the request of the prosecution, after they disavowed earlier statements supporting the prosecution case. The prosecution has sought to attack the credibility of the revised testimony, delivered via video link from Kenya, against a background of court concerns over witness tampering and intimidation.

Witness 516 said on Wednesday the two men had told him his children’s education would be … Continue Reading

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Witness says two men told him what to tell prosecution investigators

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he met two men who told him what to say when prosecution staff contacted him to testify in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

The witness is the third former prosecution witness to testify under subpoena, at the request of the prosecution, after they disavowed earlier statements supporting the prosecution case. The prosecution has sought to attack the credibility of the revised testimony, delivered via video link from Kenya, against a background of court concerns over witness tampering and intimidation.

Witness 516 said on Tuesday that one of the men, whom he identified by his pseudonym, ‘person number three’, had the most to say about what to … Continue Reading

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Ruto and Sang Defense Reject Witness’ Testimony that Prosecution Put Allegations into His Statement

The defense have said they reject the testimony of Witness 495 that prosecution staff gave him a statement they had prepared before they first met him in person and then asked him to simply copy it by hand and sign it.

Deputy President William Samoei Ruto’s legal team made the concession last week. The defense team of former journalist Joshua arap Sang made the concession on Monday. The matter came up while Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji sought to know from the prosecution at the beginning of Monday’s proceedings what they intended to do with the testimony of Witness 495. The judge said the prosecution had “vigorously cross-examined” the witness and “attacked” his credibility.

Witness 495  is one of a group of nine … Continue Reading

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