International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Ruto defense challenges witness about his account of violence in Nandi Hills

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

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Prosecution unable to verify witness claim of police officer being shot in Nandi Hills

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

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Witness states violence after 2007 election reduced him to zero

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

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Witness Tampering Evidence Could be Used in Bemba’s Ongoing Trial

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

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Ninth prosecution witness concludes testimony in private session

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

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Ruto lawyer asks witness about USAID’s funding of human rights groups

Today, the lawyer representing Deputy President William Sameoi Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) asked a witness whether he knew about money the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gave Kenyan human rights organizations and what it was used for.

Karim Khan also asked Witness 356 on Monday whether he knew a former ambassador of the United States to Kenya traveled to the North Rift region in order to convince people not to support Ruto. Khan then asked the witness about money he received from the ICC’s Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) and whether it influenced his testimony before the court.

On the issue of USAID and human rights organizations based in the North Rift region, the witness said he … Continue Reading

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Defense lawyer accuses witness of lying about knowing Ruto’s homes

The defense for Deputy President William Sameoi Ruto accused a witness of lying about knowing Ruto’s homes, lying about his past, and making false expense claims to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, on Friday took Witness 356 to task about his knowledge of Ruto’s homes in Eldoret and Sugoi in the Rift Valley region. Khan claimed the witness did not know Ruto’s homes nor had he ever been there. The witness had testified earlier in the week that he attended a political meeting at one of Ruto’s homes.

When Khan showed the witness photos of two houses, the witness identified each of them as belonging to Ruto and their location. Khan confirmed that the houses did belong … Continue Reading

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Defense lawyer challenges witness on veracity of his testimony

Defense lawyer Karim Khan challenged a witness about his testimony at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the past days, asking whether it was all false.

Khan made the challenge on Thursday after confirming from Witness 356 that between January 6 and 8 this year and again on January 14 he read through the transcripts of his interviews with the Office of the Prosecutor. Khan is the lead lawyer for Deputy President William Samoei Ruto, who is on trial on three counts of crimes against humanity.

Khan put it to the witness that “the reason you expressed such interest in getting access to your transcripts was because you are trying to remember a false story rather than recall a true story.”

“It is … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Majority Orders Witnesses back to DRC

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

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Witness changes statement under cross-examination in Ruto and Sang trial

Witness 356 retracted, under cross-examination, a statement he made a day earlier that Deputy President William Samoei Ruto was declared the Kalenjin “king” during a meeting he saw on the news in 2007.

Witness 356 had stated that Ruto was declared Kalenjin king and spokesman in November 2007. This was one month before the General Election in which Ruto was seeking re-election as a National Assembly member from Eldoret North.

On Wednesday, Witness 356 said that a video he had been shown a day earlier of a meeting at Eldoret Sports Club was not the event during which Ruto was named the overall leader of the Kalenjin. He also said that the news item he saw of the event was not the … Continue Reading

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