Nairobi — A judge of the International Criminal Court has rejected a request by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to amend Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang's charges, to include crimes allegedly committed in Eldoret on December 30 and 31, 2007.
ICC Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova of pre-trial chamber II said authorizing such an amendment of the charges in the absence of any justification as to the belated nature of the prosecutor's request would result in an unfair burden for the defence, which would require much time to conduct its investigation on the extended temporal scope of the charges in the greater Eldoret area.
The prosecutor contends that since the confirmation of charges hearing, she had obtained evidence from 12 witnesses who allege that crimes were committed in Kimumu, Langas, Yamumbi and Huruma - soon after the announcement of the presidential election results on 30 December 2007.
Ruto's defence team opposed the proposed amendment saying it was insignificant, because the prosecutor failed to establish any good cause or to provide any explanation for her delayed request, considering that the evidence collected on the alleged crimes committed in the greater Eldoret area on or about 30 and 31 December 2007 had been in the hands of the prosecutor for many months.
Sang's defence team on its part argued that the prosecutor's justification for seeking to amend the charges lacked merit and failed to provide reasons as to why the evidence was unknown or unavailable or could not have been collected until after confirmation.
Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.