International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Defense Supports Witness’ Testimony that Events Never Occurred; Kenyatta Trial Date Set Aside

A defense lawyer used news footage and newspaper articles to show the International Criminal Court (ICC) that events Witness 495 described in a statement he made to the prosecution either took place on a different date and venue, or never occurred.

David Hooper, who is representing Deputy President William Samoei Ruto, told the court on Friday he did not dispute Witness 495’s testimony since Tuesday that most of his November 2012 statement to the prosecution was false.

Ruto has been on trial since September last year on three counts of crimes against humanity. The charges stem from his alleged role in the violence that followed Kenya’s December 2007 presidential poll. On trial with Ruto is former journalist Joshua arap Sang. He is … Continue Reading


Oral Hearing for Ngudjolo Appeal Set for October

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court has set a date for an oral hearing in the Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui case. Trial Chamber II acquitted Ngudjolo on December 18, 2012 of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prosecution has appealed, and oral arguments will be held before the Appeals Chamber on October 21, 2014.

The prosecution submitted a request for an oral hearing on August 29, 2014. In its request, the prosecution argued that a mandatory oral appeal hearing was assumed within the ICC’s legal and procedural framework. The prosecution argued that although there is no specific provision about this in the statute or rules, the drafters of the court’s legal framework would have specifically stated if … Continue Reading

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Second Former Prosecution Witness Declared Hostile

Witness 495 has become the second prosecution witness to be declared hostile 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) made the decision on Thursday after trial lawyer Lucio Garcia asked the three judges to consider declaring the witness hostile. None of the defense lawyers opposed the application. The legal representative of the victims supported the prosecution’s application.

“As regards the present application … none of the parties and participants, I should say, has argued that the circumstances of this witness’ testimony thus far is any different or are any different from those under which Witness 604 was declared a hostile witness in particular,” said … Continue Reading

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Witness denies making statement to prosecution

Witness 495 told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he never made a statement to the prosecution about events before and after the December 2007 presidential poll in Kenya.

The witness said on Wednesday that when he met with staff of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in November 2012 he was given two statements and was asked to copy the contents in his own hand to show he is the one who made the statement.

Witness 495 is testifying in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang. Ruto and Sang each face three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential election.

In response to questions … Continue Reading


Witness Testifies About Fundraising Event He Said Did Not Take Place

Witness 604 told the International Criminal Court (ICC) it is possible William Samoei Ruto was consulted on a fundraising event that the witness had previously testified did not take place.

Senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg asked Witness 604 about this on Tuesday after he revisited minutes of a board of governors meeting held to discuss a fundraising event at a school in a place only known by its pseudonym, location D. Steynberg asked the question as part of his rebuttal to the questions Ruto’s lawyer, Essa Faal, had put to Witness 604.

The minutes Steynberg referred to were dated September 21, 2007. Witness 604 had said in his statement to the prosecution Ruto presided over a fundraising event in location D on … Continue Reading


Witness Says He Made Allegations Against Ruto Because of ICC Money He Received

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he made false allegations against William Samoei Ruto because of the money he received from different offices of the ICC.

Witness 604 said on Monday the money he received paid for his accommodation, communication, school fees, daily living expenses, and other costs. The witness said this as Ruto’s lawyer, Essa Faal, questioned him. Faal said that based on disclosures made to the Ruto defense team, Witness 604 had been given the equivalent of USD 11,406 between December 2013 and April 2014. Faal told the court the disclosures showed some of the money was paid by the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) of the court and some of it by the Office of the … Continue Reading


Witness Says He Made Up Meeting at Ruto’s Home

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he made up a meeting that was supposed to have taken place at the home of William Samoei Ruto in December 2007, weeks ahead of the general elections that year.

Witness 604 said on Friday he made up the meeting “to make my statement more reliable.” The witness changed the account he gave the prosecution when Ruto’s lawyer, Essa Faal, presented him with information that three people Witness 604 claimed were at the December 13, 2007 meeting were elsewhere when the meeting was supposed to have taken place at Ruto’s home. Faal told Witness 604 the defense was able to determine their location using data retrieved from the three individuals’ mobile phone records. … Continue Reading


Prosecution Investigations Delay Start of Ntaganda Trial

The trial of Bosco Ntaganda for war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not expected to commence until June 2015 due to ongoing prosecution investigations.

According to submissions made during a status conference on Thursday morning, the investigations are not due to be finalized until the end of January 2015. Full disclosure of evidence to the defense is not expected before March 2015.

Mr. Ntaganda, the alleged former deputy chief of staff of the Patriotic Front for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC), was committed to trial last June. ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II found that there were substantial grounds to believe that during 2002 and 2003, troops belonging to the FPLC committed crimes against the civilian population in … Continue Reading

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Defense Says Adjournment Would Violate Kenyatta’s Fair Trial Rights

On September 10, the defense for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta filed a response to the Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) request to adjourn the case until the Government of Kenya complies with its cooperation obligations.  Kenyatta’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is scheduled to begin on October 7 for his alleged role in the violence that occurred in the aftermath of the December 2007 presidential election.

The response drafted by Kenyatta’s defense lawyers Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins asked Trial Chamber V(b) at the ICC to deny the prosecution’s request for adjournment of the trial and to terminate the proceedings against Kenyatta. The defense stated that allowing a postponement with no date for the trial to begin is a … Continue Reading


Prosecutor Asks Witness Whether He Fears Implicating Ruto or Sang

The prosecution has asked a witness at the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang whether he recanted his earlier statements to investigators because he had been bribed.

It is unclear what Witness 604 answered because most of the final part of the prosecution’s cross-examination took place in private session during the morning part of Wednesday’s proceedings. It is also unclear if the prosecution named individuals they allege bribed the witness.

The information of the prosecution’s question came out when the court returned to open session, and Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, objected to how the prosecution got to the point of asking the witness about bribery allegations.

“The point is no evidence has … Continue Reading