Judges have declined to admit into evidence some recordings of broadcasts of a program Joshua arap Sang hosted that had been presented by Sang’s lawyer because the source of the recordings is unclear.
Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said on Tuesday that the judges would only allow those particular recordings to be marked for identification. This means they will be in the court records but will not be part of the evidence the judges will weigh to reach a verdict in the case against Sang.
Judge Eboe-Osuji said that although the recordings had been played to Witness 268, his role had been to identify the voices and could not authenticate them because he had not listened to the entire recordings. The judge advised Sang’s lawyer Joseph Kigen-Katwa to follow the correct procedure to get the recordings admitted into evidence.
Witness 268 told the court that he was surprised to learn that what he thought were pseudonyms some people had used to call in to a program Sang hosted were their actual names. Witness 268 had told the court last week that on the Lenee Emet program broadcast on Kass FM radio station there were regular callers who used pseudonyms, and they dominated the discussions on the show.
On Tuesday, Kigen-Katwa showed the witness the Facebook profiles of two individuals whose names matched two pseudonyms the witness had given the court. After asking him questions about some of the details on the Facebook profiles, Kigen-Katwa asked Witness 268 whether he was surprised to learn that the individuals’ names matched the pseudonyms. “I’m surprised,” Witness 268 told the court.
Kigen-Katwa also presented Witness 268 with monitoring reports of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of some broadcasts of Kass FM in January and February 2008. This was when the bloodshed occurred in Kenya following the December 2007 presidential poll, which is the subject of the case against Sang. Sang is facing three counts of crimes against humanity for crimes committed during that post-election violence.
The broadcasts were not played in open court, but Kigen-Katwa read excerpts from the transcripts in which Sang was quoted calling for peace and asking people of the Kalenjin ethnic group to pray for Kenya, among other things. Most of the questions Kigen-Katwa had for Witness 268 were asked in private session. In open court, Kigen-Katwa mostly asked the witness to confirm the excerpts he read.
Kigen-Katwa concluded his cross-examination of Witness 268 Tuesday, and the prosecution did not wish to re-examine the witness, ending the witness’ time on the stand.
At the start of the proceedings on Tuesday, the judges gave their reasons for allowing Deputy President William Samoei Ruto to be away from court this week. Judge Eboe-Osuji said Ruto’s lawyer, Karim Khan, had told the court in his application that President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta had to attend a meeting outside the country, the scheduling for which had been made when the court was initially supposed to sit until November 1. The presiding judge did not give other details of Khan’s submission, which was made in private session on Friday. Judge Eboe-Osuji did say that both the prosecution and the lawyer for victims opposed the application.
The judges were of the view that the meeting Kenyatta was scheduled to attend was of importance to Kenya and other countries in the region and its cancellation or postponement would not be possible, Judge Eboe-Osuji explained. He said the judges were satisfied that the circumstances for the request for excusal were exceptional. He also said that Ruto had provided a waiver of his right to be present in court for his trial as required in the Appeals Chamber’s decision on the matter and the judges were satisfied that his rights will be ensured by the presence of his lawyers in court.
Kenyatta went to South Africa to attend a meeting of the heads of state and government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Congo. The meeting was jointly held with the main regional organization in southern Africa, the Southern Africa Development Community.