International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Lawyer Says Prosecution Failed to Prove Ruto’s Involvement in Violence

The lead lawyer for Deputy President William Samoei Ruto told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the prosecution has failed to prove Ruto was involved in the violence that followed the December 2007 election.

Karim Khan told the judges of Trial Chamber V(a) on Thursday that the prosecution has been unable to prove its theory that Ruto was the head of a network that planned, organised, and financed the violence in the districts of Uasin Gishu and Nandi in the Rift Valley region.

Khan was making the case for Ruto’s acquittal during hearings the chamber called to listen to submissions on whether the defense should be called to make its case.

The defense teams of Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang filed their “no case to answer” motions in October and November last year after which the prosecution and lawyer for victims filed their responses. The issue of whether the defense has a case to answer came up once the prosecution stated in September last year that it had concluded its case.

Ruto and Sang are each facing three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the violence that wracked Kenya after the December 2007 election.

Khan said on Thursday that during the pre-trial stage, the prosecution had said it had evidence the network included a military, a political, and a financial wing. He said that during opening statements at the beginning of the trial in September 2013, the prosecution used an organogram to show how the network was organized.

Those arguments had diminished by the time the prosecution filed its response to the defense motion for acquittal, said Khan. He said the prosecution made no mention of a military wing, referred to a quarter of the previous financial wing and only half of the previous political wing.

“We’d ask that you bear this prosecution slide (organogram) in mind when considering whether the defense should be required to put up a defense,” Khan told the judges.

In reference to three planning meetings prosecution witnesses had said Ruto hosted in his home near Eldoret town, Khan said news reports for the dates the meetings were supposed to have taken place showed Ruto to be elsewhere. He said the dates the witnesses gave for the meetings corresponded with the campaign period leading up to the December 2007 elections and there was a lot of interest in how those campaigns were progressing. Khan said it was difficult in that context for Ruto, who was then a leader of the opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement, to hold meetings away from media scrutiny and plan violence.

Khan also referred to another prosecution witness who testified about a cleansing ceremony for the Kalenjin youth who had participated in the violence. He said the testimony that Ruto’s assistant, Farouk Kibet, was present at the ceremony and paid the youth money for participating in the violence was “fictitious.” He said that testimony was unsupported by other evidence.

“It doesn’t show anything that could support an allegation of individual criminal responsibility,” Khan said.

As has been the case with lawyers Anton Steynberg and Joseph Kipchumba Kigen-Katwa, Presiding Judge Eboe-Osuji asked Khan questions as he made his submissions. When Khan was making his point about news reports showing Ruto was not where witnesses had said he was, Khan went on to say that when confronted with those news reports, the prosecution should have presented rebuttal witness.

Judge Eboe-Osuji asked Khan when was it the right time for the prosecution to call rebuttal witnesses. Khan replied that the prosecution should have applied to add more witnesses to its list.

Then Judge Eboe-Osuji asked, “Isn’t it normally at the end of defense case that the prosecution seeks to put rebuttal witnesses?”

Khan’s response was that the prosecution should have called rebuttal witnesses when some of its witnesses were declared hostile.

“In circumstances particularly where a witness has recanted evidence, they could have and we say should have sought to bolster the accounts of their witnesses,” Khan continued.

He concluded his submission by showing several video clips taken between 2005 and 2008 in which Ruto was seen advocating for Kenyans to live together and calling on people to be peaceful.

Wilfred Nderitu, the lawyer for victims, will make his observations on Friday morning. Also scheduled for Friday’s hearing is Steynberg responding to the defense submissions.

27 Comments
  1. Counsel KK is doing justice to HE WSR’s case.plz keep it up

  2. It is a matter of truth that Ruto did the work he is accused of; but the case is before YAHOVAH who will judge him in Nairobi Kenya; and follows to judge the International Court for taking the case from Him to assay to give judgement.

  3. IF charles tylor faced the verdict,y nt ruto go thro da same justice.ruto face it & mve on…

  4. In overall, am persuaded to believe that Khan is loosing the no case to answer Motion on the following ground on one simple ground:-
    1. That the stage for the prosecution to be able to rebut the evidence presented by the defense is at the defense hearing and can only be so after the defense has closed it’s case. As for the present stage, the prosecution can only demonstrate that it has presented a case against the accused person’s and therefore they be put to defense. The call for evidence rebuttal is pre-judicial and detrimental to the proceeding at hand.

  5. The truth shall always prevail and for this case the prosecution are to blame for not carrying out any investigations into the violence that happened in kenya but relied on some non governmental organizations collections of movie like stories that never happened.A lie will remain a lie forever.

  6. If the prosecution and any other person/persons want to know who the Kalenjins are, please seek to know/understand our culture. What the prosecution is trying to call a “Network” is inversely a conglomeration of strong cultural practices of self defense in case of any intrusion. Just like the bees, we are always calm..poke us and its like triggering an atomic bomb. We are wired internally and don’t need to be commanded since we all know our individual roles. The Die is cast…make your informed judgement.

    • And dangerously armed too. U are no match to unarmed, defenseless people. U kill easily because of gans, swords and bows and arrows. If all this weapons were taken away from u, u will think twice before attacking and or fighting anyone. No one bring a fight to you, you Kalenjins go around flexing your muscles on others. Please stop calling this cawardly act heroism, they are 2 different things all together.

  7. Well this is a circus with a predetermined end. Lets look at it this way. There was a shoddy investigstion by the current prosecutors predecessor. A facy that he admitted some times back last year. Second and more importantly it has over time turned out to be a political case that was engineered to even the score.
    However I keep asking myself ” how fair is this trial”

  8. It’s quite disgusting to see one of our own undergo such a process while the reality speaks otherwise. It requires no science for one to understand the kalenjin are defensive in nature. Our history has answers to bensouda’s allegations. We do not need any commands when defence time comes, we do not need any financial support or anything from any quota. We pray for the victims and we also pray for such a thing not to ever happen in our beloved country. Kenya is of great importance and it’s our motherland. We should protect it fully and uphold our integrity. Bensouda has nothing I say nothing to offer us. Cohesion is the way forward country men!

  9. its time that Ruto and Arap Sang should be set free, ICC as showed lack of enough evidence, for them to judge the two.
    Kenya remains to be strong, and we pray for unity.

    • Mr Abuga, thank God you are not one of the ICC judges and or even worse, a Lawyer or witness. So please leave the proffesionals to handle this case. Do not educate this men and women, to do their job. Please…..

  10. The prosecution has failed to prove Rutos involment in clashes.In 2013 ruto hosted worriors where 3000 guns were issued.Imagine the no of pple that would have died thro’ guns.later 2015 pple were killed by use of crude weapons arrows& swords.where is the theory of guns?why did military commanders train worriors to fight using arrows instead of guns where they are specialized?Which weapons would have been effective in driving out enemies from their farms?The prosecution at this stage still insists there is still evidence to criminalize why delay this incriminating evidence if any exists?

    • As the saying goes,”a dying ear is a dying ear and a dying horse is a dying horse,so is prosecutor’s port!.”

    • Mr Kiboi, you have verbal diarhea, think 1st before u talk. We can go to the Haige too and give evidence. The police Inspector General, some military chiefs, big people in government are Kalenjins. We have family, friends and and tribes that had no weapons whatsover, their lives changed because they lost, loved ones, cattle, farms and livelyhood. Todate, all the senior appointments are on tribal grounds. We can prove all this in the court of law. This is not Kenya, where u are untouchable. Kalenjins should say sorry for their barberic acts, pay compensation to victims families and leave peacefully with other tribes regardless of their political views. But will they really do that? Never!!! I thought so. So we shouldnt even be having this debate. Disarm your people and destroy all the weaponary u supplied them. Because, it is still killing innocent people, my people as we speak.

  11. The Deputy President is still inviting people to his home. Why is he calling for meeting now

  12. truth cannot be bought or sold, it cannot be peddled, auctioned or manufactured in such reality of things. justice prevail

    • Well said brother. The people are not silly. We can see and knows what really happened. I thank God the International Community involvement and in highlighting this events on the world stage and eventually the ICC. It wouldnt have lasted a day, in the Kenyan courts without being swept under the carpet. The blood of those innocent people, will not stop crying before God. And no matter the ICC’s outcome/rulling, the people that performed this barberic acts, will face justice. The tribes attacked had no weapons to reterliate. They were slaughtered by heavilly armed Kalenjins, Pokot’s etc. The question is, If Ruto didnt arm and instruct his men to attack whoever was votting for opposition and not his party, who really did?????

  13. How comes only Kalenjins, Mr Rutos and Sang’s, tribes are talking to cover up the fact that Kalenjins todate are still armed and dangerous. They continue to kill innocent people and no one can even get justice done. Your people, with Rutos influence and senior government official supplied armunitions, that were used in this ethnic cleansing. This crimes against humanity were real, they happened, my people, Luhyias and other tribes that were voting for the opposition parties were murdered, their homes burnt, their cattle stollen, their women raped. And Ruto has no case to answer?????

  14. prosecution is presumptuous about the case in question. it actually lacks competence.

  15. If Bensuda was fair enough she would have run fast to start doing investigations in Burundi,Syria and rescue our KDF in Somalia.Kindly leave us alone Madam and seek major criminals such as Terorists and prosecutem them.

    • Not to worry Leonard, their time will come. U might not have been affected, nor knew anyone that did. But people lost loved ones, and in some areas such as mine, 8 of our young men have been killed, including my brother after the 2007 violence had stopped, and I can assure u that all the murderers are still loose, just as the law abiding Kenyan citizens. So, Burundi, Syria, Somalia will come. But this is our time. Ruto and Sang are reps of people that committed the 2007 post elections violence. There were human rights groups, and other NGOs that witnessed this happen. There are stories in affected areas that are not pleasant. You do your homework. Go around and talk to people. It doesan’t take much and u will hear very scarery stories. They are worse than watching SAW Movie. This acts have no place in a civilised society, and now is when we realise how serious those deeds were, because our Vice President is being tried in an International Criminal Court, something not very pleasant. The world stands out for justice, this should have happened in Kenya before the ICC took over. Did it? No. Please allow The ICC, to grill the 2 men. Thats its job. As for us, we still call on the wrath of God to not let any innocent blood go unpanished. The people that killed, and hurt anyone, even though they have not and will never be panished under our constitution, I want to remind them that, THERE IS GOD who watches over His people, and the blood of people, innocent people, that were slaughtered and cripples that were burnt alive, pregnant women that were cut open and their foetus removed, will not stop crying before GOD. As for our government and the law abiding Kalenjins, Pokots, etc Let us encourage all those armed to give up their armunition. Let us make Kenya safe. And as those that, are still killing others, let us not hide them but give them up to the authorities, so they can face justice. As for our current government, lets revisit Jomo Kenyatta and Arap Moi eras where the countries security was KEY. GOD BLESS KENYA

  16. the prosecution failed to show even one video clip to surpport their case apart from showing young iniciates who are under circumciation claiming to be warriors.so we are requesting bensouda to come to kenya during december when the boys are in circumcisionto see for herself that he claim to be warriors is not true.

    • You talk nonesence, video clip or no video clip, this crimes happened. Kales have temper problems. They cannot engage in an arguement without resorting to violence. They act and think later. Because they are armed. Be man enough to admit mistakes were made by Kales. Dont cover up. Because we wouldnt be here if nothing did ever happen. This corwadly murders happened. And Kales are still killing people, as we speak. My brother last Christmas night and a boda boda a week ago. Nothing in the Kenyan media. You will never get away with it. We will watch in amazement when God’s wrath decends upon your people, and their children. Our cries, will not be in vain.

  17. You are also talking nonsense.You seem to be bitter about kales . you said your bro was killed by kales why dont you go to court and yet nearly all the judges are from your community if you are telling the trueth. courts are not own by UhuruRuto bwana.Even if you send a million messages against Ruto and Sang doesnt prevent judges from setting Ruto and Sang free.We need quality evidence and not your quantity

    • Leave my bro out. Kenyan justice system is a joke. The facts are Kales are armed, despite HE DP Ruto, being tried at the Hague, he has no decency to call on his people to disarm. Genocide, was committed by Kales, and nothing has been done to make peace, with neighbouring communities/victims families. You talk as if everything is ok. If our country continues this way, and our communities get armed, which will eventually happen, what kind of communities will this create. U kill 1 we come and kill 1. Its time our government wakes up and smells the coffee. Murder and cover up has no place in our society, in this 21st Century. 8 men have been killed in the Matunda region, the OCPD of Matunda is a Kale, guys even put through the courts and sentensed walked out and were seen not long after. The male that killed my brother, a Kale, celebrated his 4th victim in my bro. Why is he left to kill and transfered somewhere else to do the same? Because he is releted to the inspector general of police, another Kale. He was arrested last year for impregnanting a Bomet Primary School pupil, and now in hiding has another case to answer as a second pupil at the same school is pregnant and never reported to school this January. He preys and defiles your own kids. Can you imagine that. But the 1st case was settled out of court and the girl’s family paid off, and the young girl, left to be his wife on condition that he allows her to complete her studies. A baby, not a woman, a developing little girl, the now being taken advantage by a fully grown man, a little Kale girl. You call this pedophile and serial killer protection on tribal grounds justice? Keep covering this guys until the blood they have shed drips and stains the Kales with cleen hands. Its quantity so u can get the quality of our grief. Not misleading brief gabbage to cover up Kalenjins acts.

  18. It is said dont ague with a fool people might not know the difference

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