15 May 2012

Kenya: Ocampo Four Can Skip June Court Sessions

Photo: ICC/CPI
ICC Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday said the four Kenyans accused of crimes against humanity do not have to appear in person at the status conferences scheduled for June this year.

ICC Spokesman Fadi el Abdallah told Capital FM News that the accused can be represented by their lawyers unless directed to appear individually by the court.

"The accused can be represented by their lawyers unless ordered otherwise by the Judges. No such orders have been made," he clarified.

Trial Chamber V has asked parties in the two Kenyan cases to give written submissions by May 28.

According to the ICC website, victims' legal representatives, the registry, the prosecutor and the defence teams have to file their submissions ahead of the status conferences to be held on June 11 and 12.

"In order to facilitate adequate preparations for the status conference, the parties are requested to make written submissions and file such submissions not later than 28 May, 2012," the statement directed.

In the submissions, they will also be required to indicate if they have anything extra that should be discussed during status conferences next month.

William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang's defence teams will attend their status conference on June 11 while lawyers for Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura will have theirs the following day.

"The Trial Chamber shall hold a status conference in order to set the date of the trial," the ICC indicated.

The communication from the court further gave an in-depth agenda of the status conference which includes setting the date of the trials, time estimates and format of disclosure of evidence.

They will also say if it will be necessary to make any site visits at the trial stage and agree on appropriate language for the parties in the cases.

According to the communication from the Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki, the parties will further inform the trial chamber if they will use anonymous witnesses and if they will require protection or not.

The four accused Kenyans will face Luis Moreno Ocampo's successor Fatou Bensouda during trial, since Ocampo's term comes to an end on June 16, just days after the status conferences take place.

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