The ninth witness in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has largely testified in closed session for the second day in a row.
This has happened at the request of trial lawyer Lucio Garcia who is leading the examination-in-chief of Witness 356. Trial Chamber V(a) has so far given Garcia the latitude to question the witness in mostly closed sessions. Witness 356 has his lawyer present in court, the first time a witness has had a lawyer present in court in the Ruto and Sang trial.
For the approximately 20 minutes or so Witness 356’s testimony was in public on Monday, he described a road block near the area where he lived in early 2008. He told the court the road block was made of stones and wood. He said between 30 and 40 Kalenjin men manned the road block, and they were armed with bows and arrows, machetes, and clubs.
He identified the area where he lived and other places by number using a protected information sheet. Witness 356 is testifying under protected measures that include his face and voice being distorted on the court’s video stream.
Witness 356 also told the court that his wife and other people told him that some homes of Kalenjin supporters of the Party of National Unity were torched. In the December 2007 elections, the Party of National Unity was the re-election vehicle for then President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu. Many Kalenjin at the time supported the rival Orange Democratic Movement party.
Witness 356 began testifying on Friday. Garcia had indicated to the court that he would complete his examination-in-chief on Tuesday.