One of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto’s defense lawyers challenged a witness that he was not in Nandi Hills town days after the December 2007 elections, so his account of what happened there was false.
After asking Witness 128 several questions about whether he saw a police officer shot with an arrow and killed, David Hooper suggested on Friday that the witness was in Western Province at the time and not Nandi Hills as he had earlier testified.
Hooper made the suggestion after showing the witness a photo of a man Hooper said is called George Odhiambo, who was the head of the Nandi Hills police station in December 2007 and January 2008. Hooper said during his second day of cross-examination that … Continue Reading
The prosecution told International Criminal Court (ICC) judges it was unable to verify whether a police officer was shot in Nandi Hills after the December 2007 elections as a witness had stated a day earlier.
Senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg, however, informed the court on Thursday that the detail was not key to the criminal charges it is pursuing against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. Steynberg said that the prosecution did not intend to investigate the allegation further.
He spoke in response to a defense assertion that the chief police officer of Nandi Hills was not shot as Witness 128 had claimed in the previous day’s hearing. David Hooper, one of Ruto’s lawyers, said this … Continue Reading
A witness described how the violence that followed the December 2007 presidential election reduced him to zero and his children have found it difficult to continue with their schooling.
Witness 128 also told the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday that he saw Samson Charamboss, a former senior police officer, talking to young men who were controlling road blocks on an unnamed road. The witness only indicated the road as number three from a protected information sheet he used in court.
Charamboss is a former head of the presidential security service and also a former head of the Kenyan police’s paramilitary unit. The prosecution had alleged during the pre-trial phase that he was one of the commanders supervising the violence that occurred … Continue Reading
Defense lawyers have opposed the prosecution’s bid to introduce evidence on witness tampering by Jean-Pierre Bemba and his lawyers in the Congolese politician’s ongoing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On November 29, 2013, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sought permission to submit an audio recording, a report, and a financial chart, which “will demonstrate conclusively that the testimony of specific defense witnesses is that of counsel rather than the witness.”
Mr. Bemba, along with two of his former lawyers and two aides, are accused of corruptly influencing witnesses and presenting false documents in the trial. Mr. Bemba has been in ICC detention since 2008 over his alleged failure to discipline soldiers he commanded, who prosecutors say committed rape, murder, and pillaging in … Continue Reading
Today, the ninth prosecution witness completed his testimony in the trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
Except for a few minutes at the opening of Monday’s hearing, Witness 356 testified in private session. During his public testimony, the witness confirmed that a transcript defense lawyer Karim Khan read out in open court was what he heard on a video that was played in private session.
The video was of a news conference that Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga and other politicians held calling for the release of a prominent farmer of the Rift Valley, Jackson Kibor, if the police were not going to charge him. Kibor … Continue Reading
A majority of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song dissenting, has ordered three detained witnesses to be returned immediately to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The witnesses have been detained at the ICC Detention Center since they arrived in The Hague in March 2011 to testify in the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.
Katanga and Ngudjolo are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bogoro, a village in the DRC. In December 2012, after the cases were severed, Ngudjolo was acquitted of all charges; he awaits the appeal judgment in his case. Germain Katanga is still on trial, awaiting final judgment.
Before coming to testify, the witnesses had been … Continue Reading
When trial judges in Guatemala convicted their own former head of state, Efrain Rios Montt, of genocide last May—a worldwide first—the rule of law set down roots in a country renowned for impunity. Subsequent events have shown how fragile those roots are.
Only days after the dictator’s conviction for his role in massacres of the indigenous Ixil during the country’s internal armed conflict, the Constitutional Court, in a divided and controversial judgment, annulled the ruling, forcing the disqualification of the trial court and upending the judicial process. Adding further confusion, in an October ruling, the Constitutional Court did not foreclose the possibility that a decades-old amnesty law could prevent the prosecution altogether, despite clear domestic and international prohibitions against the application … Continue Reading
The following commentary first ran in the third Special Issue of Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Special Issue of the Legal Eye eLetter, including an article on Ngudjolo’s release from Schipol immigration detention center on May 4, 2013, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.
On December 18, 2012, … Continue Reading
International Criminal Court (ICC) investigators tapped phone calls and intercepted emails between Jean-Pierre Bemba and his lawyers, according to an arrest warrant published by the court.
The interceptions showed that Mr. Bemba run a “criminal scheme” from his detention cell in The Hague. They also showed that the Congolese opposition leader was speaking to witnesses and authorizing payments to them.
Pre-trial judge Cuno Tarfusser, who authorized the interceptions, last November issued arrest warrants for Mr. Bemba, his lead counsel Aimé Kilolo-Musamba, and case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo. Arrest warrants were also issued for Narcisse Arido, a defense witness, and Fidèle Babala Wandu, a member of the Congolese parliament.
The four suspects were arrested on November 23 and 24, 2013 by authorities in the … Continue Reading
It is with mixed emotions that we write to inform you that our blog monitoring the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be put into archive mode as of January 6, 2014. This means that we will no longer be posting updates or receiving comments from readers. However, the website will continue to exist as a resource on the trial and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The Open Society Justice Initiative started monitoring proceedings in the Taylor case in June 2007. After a bumpy start that included Taylor sacking his defense counsel on the first day of trial, the case commenced in earnest on January 7, 2008, with testimony from the first witness for the prosecution. The … Continue Reading