Today, a lawyer for Deputy President William Samoei Ruto took the fifth prosecution witness through several news clips from Kenyan television and several excerpts of newspapers to help confirm the location of political rallies in Eldoret town in the lead up to the 2007 election.
David Hooper also asked Witness 487 what he remembered being said at the rallies he attended and whether the speeches were similar to what was reported in the various media excerpts presented in court. This was the third day of testimony from Witness 487 in the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. Ruto and Sang are facing three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged role in the violent upheaval that followed the December 2007 elections.
The opposing lawyers disagreed over whether the TV news clips and newspaper articles should be entered into the court’s records as evidence. The defense had asked that the court allocate them evidence numbers, but prosecution trial lawyer Adebowale Omofade objected. After listening to their arguments, the judges ruled that the newspaper articles would be recorded as evidence only for their images because that was the focus of Hooper’s questions to the witness. The judges also ruled that the TV news clips could be entered into evidence.
Later in the day, Hooper asked the witness why he and others decided to remain in one location and defend themselves instead of fleeing the area after being attacked by Kalenjin men. Witness 487 replied they thought that if they fled the area, they could still be killed wherever they went.
Earlier, at the start of the mid-morning session, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said that the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) had recommended that the next witness should testify in private session only. Judge Eboe-Osuji asked that lawyers should prepare to state whether they agreed with this recommendation once Witness 487 completes his testimony. The prosecution, defense, and victims’ lawyers all said that they had not received a copy of the VWU’s report on the next witness. Judge Eboe-Osuji ordered that they should each be given copies.