International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Wednesday lost his bid to withhold crucial evidence against the Ocampo Six.
The Pre-Trial Chamber ordered him to reveal all his evidence to lawyers to enable them prepare their defence.
The court also gave Mr Moreno-Ocampo three distinct dates in which he is to release evidence to the six suspects in the post-election violence cases.
The prosecutor had requested that the process be delayed until a decision is made on Kenya’s case challenging the admissibility of the cases.
However, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova rejected the prosecutor’s request, saying, Kenya’s appeal could not stop court proceedings. The prosecutor’s argument had no legal basis, she added.
The judge said Kenya’s appeal could only hinder investigations, but not court proceedings.
“An investigation is not a judicial proceeding, but an inquiry conducted by the prosecutor into the commission of a crime with a view to bringing to justice those deemed responsible,” she ruled. Mr Moreno-Ocampo had argued that revealing of the identities of witnesses would endanger them.
“The court rejects the application and orders the prosecutor to disclose to the defence any evidence on which he intends to rely for the purposes of the confirmation of charges hearing,” she ordered.
The judge asked the prosecutor to allow the defence lawyers to inspect any books, documents, photographs and objects that he intends to use as a soon as possible.
She also ordered the defence teams to share with the prosecutor evidence they intend to present at the confirmation hearing and to file the list of such evidence by Monday, September 5.
And if they want to conceal some, they will have to submit the proposals to the chamber by Friday, August 12.
By Friday, August 29, the defence teams are supposed to have permitted the prosecutor to inspect any documents, photographs or tangible objects in the possession or control of the defence to be used at the hearing.
However, the prosecutor was given sets of deadlines to show the court whatever evidence he intends to hide from the defence lawyers and his reasons.
The court would make a decision on the matter.
“The single judge orders the defence teams to notify the prosecutor of their intention, if any, to raise the existence of an alibi or to raise a ground for excluding criminal responsibility, and to present the evidence on which they intend to rely for either purpose, sufficiently in advance to enable the prosecutor prepare adequately and to respond,” the judge said.
The suspects who appeared before the court over crimes against humanity, are Mr William Ruto, Mr Henry Kosgey, Mr Joshua Sang, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Francis Muthaura and Maj-Gen Hussein Ali.
One of the defence lawyers, Mr Ken Ogeto for Mr Muthaura welcomed the decision.