14 May 2014

Kenya: Witness in Ruto ICC Case to Testify Entirely in Private

Nairobi — The International Criminal Court (ICC) has for the first time allowed a prosecution witness in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang to give their entire testimony in private.

According to presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, members of the public will not have access to the testimony of the witness.

"We have granted the prosecutor's request for protective measures of this witness. What it means for members of the public is that the testimony of this witness will be done in private session," the judge ruled.

Anton Steynberg for the prosecution made the request on grounds of security concerns for the 17th witness.

The proceedings resumed on Wednesday - two days late - after the prosecution faced challenges in presenting the witnesses supposed to take stand after the Easter recess.

Since the start of the trial against Ruto and Sang on September 10, 2013, the last 16 witnesses who have testified before The Hague based court - apart from expert witnesses - had partial protective measures.

The measures include use of numbers instead of names, voice and image distortion.

They also had parts of their testimony heard in private session while the rest of their testimony was done in public but with protective measures in place.

The first victim witness who appeared when the trial kicked off in September was also confined to private sessions a short while after she had began testifying due to attempts to expose her identity on social media.

When the trial resumed on Wednesday, Ruto was present in accordance with the order that requires his physical presence during the first five days after a court recess.

Before the court recess, the judges also informed Ruto that his presence will be required during the entire testimony of witness P0028.

However, the court has not yet communicated when the witness is likely to take stand for Ruto to ensure his presence in court.

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