Ruto’s lawyer questions witness on whether he was in Nandi Hills in 2007

Hearings continued on Thursday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang with a defense lawyer challenging a witness on whether he was in the Nandi Hills area in 2007 as he testified in court earlier.

Karim Khan, Ruto’s lead defense lawyer, questioned Witness 409 on his whereabouts during the 2007 election on the basis of mobile phone records Khan produced in court. Khan also questioned the witness about whether was he really at a rally at Meteitei.

Khan read to the witness three items on mobile phone records that he produced in court. The three items included the time and date of phone calls Khan said the witness made between December 27, 2007 and December 29, 2007. Khan said that the records showed the calls were made in north Nyanza and not Nandi Hills where the witness said he was. North Nyanza is west of the Nandi Hills area.

Witness 409 said he disagreed with that statement.

Earlier, Khan had questioned the witness about the rally he had testified he attended in Meteitei during the campaigns for the 2007 elections. Khan doubted whether the witness attended a rally at Meteitei because there was no reporting of it, unlike other campaign rallies during that period.

The witness said he did not agree with Khan’s proposition.

Khan also asked the witness about his voter registration. Khan put it to Witness 409 that in 2007 he was registered to vote at Muhaya Primary School in what was then Nyanza Province and not the Rift Valley Province where Nandi Hills is located. The witness said he voted at Muhaya Primary School during a by-election but not in the 2007 election. The rest of the questioning on the witness’ voter registration continued in private session after trial lawyer Lorenzo Pugliatti said the line of questioning came close to revealing the identity of the witness.

Khan also questioned the witness on his motivation for signing up as a victim with the ICC’s Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU). He asked Witness 409 whether he applied to be a victim in the case because he wanted money, to which the witness replied that it was not the case. At some point Pugliatti objected to the line of questioning because he said Khan had not asked the witness whether he had filled out for himself the application form from the VWU or it was filled out for him. The rest of the questioning on Witness 409’s application form continued in private session.

At the start of the afternoon session, senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg made an application concerning the witness scheduled to testify next. His submissions and the responses of the other lawyers in court were made in private session.

It is unclear whether Witness 409 will continue testifying on Friday because the day’s proceedings ended in private session.

 

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