Trial judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ordered the prosecution to make limited disclosure about the latest witness to take the stand and his interaction with the prosecution’s go-between after the defense team of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto requested the information.
Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, had also asked Trial Chamber V(a) on Monday to order the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) to reveal to the defense the cost of relocation, upkeep, and other expenses of prosecution Witness 268. Presiding Judges Chile Eboe-Osuji said the chamber granted the defense limited disclosure about the intermediary, who interacted with Witness 268 on the basis of the chamber’s ruling on the question of intermediaries that was made on September 4.
Judge Eboe-Osuji said the chamber declined to grant the request on costs related to Witness 268’s relocation and other expenses. He said that it was the chamber’s view it was not necessary to reveal the information on costs to the defense because any witness who testified in court would have an income whether it is their own or through a relocation program administered by the VWU.
Khan made his application before Witness 268 took the stand on Monday. Khan, the prosecution, and other participants in the case took the first morning session to argue their submissions. The details of the submissions are unknown because they made them in private session. Judge Eboe-Osuji summarized the defense and prosecution submissions when announcing the chamber’s decision on the application.
When Witness 268 took the stand later on Monday morning, prosecution lawyer Lucio Garcia asked him a series of questions about the key issues that informed the campaigns leading up to the 2005 referendum on a draft constitution and the political environment during and after those campaigns.
Witness 268 told the court that one of the key issues was land, which, he said, was a subject of particular interest to the Kalenjin. He also said that the issue was a major campaign subject in Kenya’s coastal region. Witness 268 said that during election campaigns, with the exception of the 2002 campaign, Kalenjin politicians made the question of who owned the land in the Rift Valley region an issue. This, Witness 268 said, made the Kikuyu the subject of negative campaigns.
The witness will continue testifying Tuesday.