International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Trial Chamber Will Take Time to Reach Decision on “No Case to Answer” Submissions

This year two decisions have been eagerly awaited in the trial of the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

One has been on whether the statements of witnesses who recanted their remarks or failed to appear in court can be used as evidence. The Appeals Chamber announced its decision on the matter of witness statements two weeks ago.

Attention has now turned to the other eagerly awaited announcment: Trial Chamber V(a)’s decision on the defense’s “no case to answer” applications. The “no case to answer” submissions have been the subject of public interest in Kenya since early last year. This interest began after the last prosecution witness testified in the trial of … Continue Reading


Appeals Chamber Reverses Decision on Witness Statements

The top chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has determined that previously recorded statements of five prosecution witnesses who recanted those statements or failed to show up in court cannot be used as evidence in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski said the Appeals Chamber unanimously decided on Friday to reverse Trial Chamber V(a)’s majority decision made on August 19. The Appeals Chamber said the majority decision erred in determining that Rule 68 of the court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence could be used to admit those statements as evidence.

Judge Hofmanski read a summary of the chamber’s decision in open court. He was the only judge in court and … Continue Reading


Ruto and Sang Defense Want Trial Chamber Decision on Witness Statements Reversed

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to announce on Friday its decision on whether statements five witnesses gave to prosecution investigators can be used as evidence in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Lawyers for Ruto and Sang have appealed the majority decision of Trial Chamber V(a), made on August 19 last year, to admit the statements of five witnesses as evidence in the case against their clients. The lawyers filed their appeals in October last year. The prosecution filed their response in November.

The African Union (AU) Commission filed observations as a friend of the court after the Appeals Chamber allowed it to do so. In an October 12 decision, … Continue Reading


Issue of Standard of Proof Dominates Final Day of “No Case to Answer” Hearings

The issue of what standard of proof judges should use when considering defense applications for the acquittal of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang dominated the final day of hearings on those applications.

Lawyers representing Ruto and Sang have applied to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to dismiss the case against their clients before they present their defense. They argued on Wednesday and Thursday that the prosecution had failed to produce evidence to support allegations that Ruto and Sang had been involved in the violence that erupted after the December 2007 elections in Kenya.

Both men have been charged with three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in violence in the Rift Valley region. … Continue Reading


Lawyer Says Prosecution Failed to Prove Ruto’s Involvement in Violence

The lead lawyer for Deputy President William Samoei Ruto told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the prosecution has failed to prove Ruto was involved in the violence that followed the December 2007 election.

Karim Khan told the judges of Trial Chamber V(a) on Thursday that the prosecution has been unable to prove its theory that Ruto was the head of a network that planned, organised, and financed the violence in the districts of Uasin Gishu and Nandi in the Rift Valley region.

Khan was making the case for Ruto’s acquittal during hearings the chamber called to listen to submissions on whether the defense should be called to make its case.

The defense teams of Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang filed … Continue Reading


Sang’s Lawyer Says Broadcast Ban Made It Impossible for his Client to Incite Violence

Former journalist Joshua arap Sang could not have incited violence or helped coordinate attacks using his radio show as the prosecution have alleged because of a ban on live broadcasts imposed by the Kenyan government, Sang’s lawyer told the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Jan. 13.

Joseph Kipchumba Kigen-Katwa told Trial Chamber V(a) on Wednesday that the government ordered the ban on live broadcasts on December 30, 2007, soon after the presidential results were declared and just as violence erupted in the country.

Kigen-Katwa said that the station Sang worked for, Kass FM, then stopped airing any of its regular programming out of … Continue Reading


Prosecution Argues It Has Presented Sufficient Evidence against Ruto and Sang

A senior prosecutor told the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Jan. 12 that its evidence showed Deputy President William Samoei Ruto hosted and led or was represented in six meetings to plan the violence in Kenya’s Rift Valley region which erupted after the December 2007 election.

Senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg said the meetings took place in November and December 2007, ahead of elections that were held on December 27, 2007. Steynberg said the prosecution’s evidence showed former journalist Joshua arap Sang participated in one of those meetings.

Steynberg laid out the prosecution’s case against Ruto and Sang during a hearing on Tuesday that Trial Chamber V(a) … Continue Reading


Chamber to Hear Submissions on “No Case to Answer” Motion in Ruto and Sang Trial

This week, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will receive oral submissions on whether the prosecution has presented sufficient evidence to compel Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang to present their defense.

Trial Chamber V(a) will be seeking clarifications or elaboration of issues that defense lawyers and the prosecution have raised in their written submissions on whether Ruto and Sang have a case to answer. The chamber received applications from the defense to dismiss the case against their clients in October and November last year. It also received the prosecution’s response in November.

What is now commonly referred to as the “no case to answer” motion is not a routine procedure at the ICC as it … Continue Reading


Trial Judges Issued Decisions on Witness Allegations in Ruto and Sang Trial Months before ASP Petition

By the time Kenyan legislators petitioned the recently concluded Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to order an independent audit of how the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) selected witnesses for its cases, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges had already made decisions on similar issues that arose earlier this year.

In their October 13 petition to the United Nations Security Council and the president of the ASP, the Kenyan members of the National Assembly and Senate also asked that the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang be suspended until the independent audit had been carried out.

In total, 190 legislators from both the ruling coalition and the opposition signed the petition. Kenya’s National Assembly and Senate … Continue Reading


Who are the Witnesses in the Second Kenya Bribery Case at the ICC? – Part 3

This is the third instalment of a three-part series on the arrest warrant recently made public implicating a Kenyan lawyer and another Kenyan individual in connection with bribery allegations involving six prosecution witnesses. This part sketches the bribery allegations involving Witness 613, Witness 800, Witness 495, and Witness 516 as well as giving a summary of their testimony in court. Part 1 of the series ccan be read here and part 2 here.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor alleges that Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru and fellow Kenyan Philip Kipkoech Bett bribed or tried to bribe six prosecution witnesses. Given the context of the case and overlapping witness pseudonyms, it appears that most of these witnesses were insider or linkage witnesses … Continue Reading