Nairobi — Parties in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang have been directed to make submissions on the effect of Kenya's Motion to withdraw from the Rome Statute.
International Criminal Court (ICC) Trial Chamber V presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji informed the court that they had been notified by the Prosecution that the first witness was late because of the Motion passed by the Kenyan Parliament two weeks ago.
"Last week we did not proceed as we would have liked in terms of calling the witnesses and the Prosecutor had indicated in the record why witnesses were unavailable is because there were certain developments in the Kenyan Parliament relating to certain resolutions passed. We will take submissions tomorrow (Wednesday) morning," he directed.
Eboe-Osuji asked the defence teams of Ruto and Sang, the prosecution and the victims legal representative Wilfred Nderitu to make submissions informing the court if the Motion seeking to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute has any effect on the ongoing ICC cases.
The parties will also be required to indicate if indeed the Motion was passed, why it was adopted and for what intentions the Kenyan Parliament approved it.
"We will need to have the factual matter established on the record, parties should be prepared to address the questions; Is it a fact that the Parliament of Kenya debated and adopted resolutions that may have any relevance to this case? If so what, if so when, if so why?" he directed.
According to Eboe-Osuji, the parties should also indicate if the Motion has any effects on witness protection as indicated by the Prosecution in its submission to the court.
"We do that, mindful of Article 68 (1) of the Statue that provides amongst other things, that the court shall take appropriate measures to protect witnesses. We will take submissions on whether or not the development in question is something that should be taken in account as a factor in protection of witnesses," he said.
The parties will also address legal concerns which should indicate if the Kenya's withdrawal from the Rome Statute will have effects on other local factors.
"If it is the case that Parliament adopted any such resolutions, what effect should that development have either alone or together with any other national or community factor? Evidence of such community factor must also be provided," Eboe-Osuji asserted.
The legal submissions should also address protection measures of witnesses in the courtroom as well as if there will be need to look at protective measures of every individual witness if at all the Motion passed by Parliament has an effect on the ongoing cases.
A Bill seeking to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute is expected in Parliament and just like the Motion passed, there are indications that it will sail through in view that President Uhuru Kenyatta (also facing trial at the ICC) and his deputy have a majority in Parliament under their Jubilee coalition.