International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Defense lawyer challenges expert witness on location of burnt structures

A defense lawyer questioned the location of structures destroyed that an expert witness identified in the ongoing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Essa Faal, Ruto’s lawyer, challenged Lars Bromley on whether all the structures he concluded had been burnt were destroyed in five locations around Eldoret town. Faal told Bromley on Thursday that some of the burnt structures he identified were outside the boundaries of the locations he stated they were in. Bromley said he worked using coordinates he was given by the Office of the Prosecutor, and he knew nothing about the boundaries of the locations in question.

The Office of the Prosecutor assigned Bromley to … Continue Reading

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Expert witness tells court data analysis shows a spike in fires in January 2008

An expert witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday, April 9, that 506 buildings were burnt in Eldoret in January 2008 around the time there was violence following the presidential poll a month earlier.

Lars Bromley told the court on Wednesday there were another 190 structures that were possibly burnt. Bromley was testifying in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang who are each facing three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 elections.

Bromley’s testimony is the first in the trial in which a witness has been able to quantify the buildings burnt during that period. Previous witness had been able … Continue Reading

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Witness tells court Ruto hit electoral commission chief in 2007

A witness stuck to her testimony to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that she saw Deputy President William Samoei Ruto hit the electoral commission chairman as presidential results to the December 2007 election continued to be tallied.

Witness 469 insisted that she saw this on television on December 29, 2007 even as Ruto’s lawyer, Leigh Lawrie, challenged her on this on Monday.

Ruto is on trial on three counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the violence that followed the announcement of the presidential results in the December 2007. During that election Ruto was a key leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party. He is being tried together with former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang, who is also … Continue Reading

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Witness 469 describes two arson incidents

A witness described to the International Criminal Court (ICC) two incidents of arson she saw as she tried to keep her children and herself safe during violence that followed the announcement of the presidential results of the December 2007 election.

The first incident Witness 469 told the court about, she said occurred near a place called Joyland where she and about 200 Kikuyus had sought refuge. She said they were a mix of elderly, middle-aged people and children and they were protected by six police officers armed with guns.

Witness 469 is testifying in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. Ruto and Sang are each on trial on three counts of crimes against … Continue Reading

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Witness tells court ODM supporters told Kikuyus they would return to Othaya

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) a councillor newly elected after the December 2007 elections told his supporters that because his party had won, Kikuyus living in an area called Kimumu would have to leave.

Witness 469 told the court on Thursday that Sammy Ruto, who had just won the Kimumu seat, was being driven in a convoy to celebrate his victory when he told his supporters about the eviction of the Kikuyu from the area. The witness said he said Kikuyus should return to Othaya, referring to the parliamentary seat that was held by then President Mwai Kibaki, who is also a Kikuyu.

The witness said Sammy Ruto is a Kalenjin and in 2008 he became the mayor of the … Continue Reading

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Defense lawyer questions whether witness is downplaying Kikuyu role in Kenya violence

A defense lawyer challenged the testimony of Witness 508 at the International Criminal Court (ICC) that Kikuyus in the North Rift region of Kenya were never aggressors and acted only in self-defense when attacked during the violence that followed the December 2007 election.

Essa Faal, who represents Deputy President William Samoei Ruto, also told the court on Tuesday that the Mungiki criminal gang took part in the violence in the location where Witness 508 lived. The witness said he did not see them.

Witness 508 began his testimony on Monday and is the 14th witness to testify in the trial of Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. Ruto and Sang each face three counts of crimes against humanity for their … Continue Reading

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As Kenyatta Trial is Postponed, ICC Finds Fault on Both Sides

Judges of the International Criminal Court have postponed the start of President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta’s trial for the fourth time, to allow the Kenyan government time to provide financial information on Kenyatta that the prosecution has been requesting for the past two years.

The judges of Trial Chamber V (b) set October 7 as the new provisional start date for the trial. President Kenyatta is facing five counts of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the violence that followed the December 2007 elections.

In their unanimous Monday decision [pdf] Trial Chamber V (b) ruled on two applications filed by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and one application by Kenyatta’s lawyers, Steve Kay and Gillian Higgins. The fact the judges granted part … Continue Reading

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Witness Recounts Ethnic Violence and Fear

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) how he escaped nearly being killed at a road block by hiding his identity card when the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang resumed on Monday.

The trial of Ruto and Sang had adjourned on March 11 for a routine break. Ruto and Sang are each charged with three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the violence that followed the December 2007 election.

Witness 508 began his testimony on Monday under a pseudonym, because Trial Chamber V (a) has granted him protective measures while in court to ensure his anonymity. The court made this decision following an application by the prosecution, which was … Continue Reading

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Witness Protection Measures: What’s Happening in the Ruto and Sang Trial is Not Unique

At the ongoing trial of Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the drill is now well established. When the court decides to protect the identity of a witness, a screen goes down on the public gallery; if there is a risk that the testimony will expose the identity of the witness, the proceedings are entirely closed. If the session remains open to the public via video, the face of the witness is disguised with pixelation, the voice distorted.

So far all but one of the 13 witnesses at the Ruto and Sang trial, which opened on September 10, 2013, has taken the stand with their identity cloaked from the … Continue Reading

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Poll: Kenyans Rank ICC Process as the Least Important Problem Facing Kenya

In a new opinion poll, Kenyans have ranked the International Criminal Court (ICC) process involving the country’s president, deputy president, and a former radio journalist as the least important of the problems facing Kenya.

On March 4, independent polling company Ipsos Synovate released the poll, which said that only one percent of respondents expressed that “the leadership wrangles due to the ICC cases” was the most pressing problem facing Kenya. This is a one percentage point decline from a November 2013 poll Ipsos Synovate conducted when two percent of the respondents said that the ICC cases were the most pressing problem facing Kenya.

The difference between this latest poll and the November 2013 one is within the margin of error, which is plus … Continue Reading

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