Prosecution witness testifies in session closed to public

The prosecution’s first witness in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang continued her testimony in a session closed to the public Thursday following an order by the judges.

The three-member Trial Chamber V(a) reached the decision to have Witness 536 testify in closed session for security reasons. They made the ruling after the prosecution applied to the court to consider such a measure following attempts to reveal her identity when she first began testifying on Tuesday. Senior Trial Lawyer Anton Steynberg made the application at the start of Thursday’s hearing.

Karim Khan, Ruto’s lead defense lawyer, opposed the prosecution’s application, arguing that the measures that court had already taken to conceal the witness’ identity in court were sufficient to protect her. He said he did not understand why “the shutters should come down and the hearing should be put in closed session.” He said that the public has a right to hear what the witness had to say.

Joseph Kigen-Katwa, who represents Sang, also opposed the prosecution’s application. The lawyer for victims, Wilfred Nderitu, said that the circumstances facing the court were special and warranted the witness’ testimony to be heard in closed session. Nderitu said he had talked to the witness, who also happens to be one of the victims he represents, and she had been shaken by the attempt to expose her identity. He said the measures the court took to protect her identity would have an impact on her resolve to testify.

The judges retreated for about 10 minutes and then returned to announce their decision to hold the remainder of Witness 536’s testimony in closed session.



  1. We no longer trust the icc considering that most of the judges decisions have been going in favour of the prosecution. This is a kangaroo court.

  2. witnesses needs to be protected.Revealing there identities is a threat to their own security,family and relatives.I conqure with the judges decision.

  3. For the security of this country.some sections of the ICC cases need not be aired…but most of it should…

  4. The trio case of Kenyans at The Hague could be the burial ground of impunities,misrule, dictatorship African leaders arrogance and African leaders do not care attitude (utado):Hence the trial should continue to the end.The Hague court and the International Community should consider these African head of States interferences of the Courts proceeding as frogs noise or as in Law busy bodies who do not make any dent in the prosecution of any case.

  5. As as Citizen of kenya I don’t see justice on this why iam saying this is that when the defense team questions the witness the judge cannot allow if the true question is asked instead he complained about the time. kindly allow the defense team to finish ..we need transparency
    .thank and God bless you..we are one

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