Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ruto and Sang want ICC date put off

Ms Elizabeth Wangui (right), outside the Kenya Assemblies of God church burnt by youths in Kiambaa, Eldoret, during the post-election violence in 2008. At least 35 people died in the fire. Photos/FILE

Ms Elizabeth Wangui (right), outside the Kenya Assemblies of God church burnt by youths in Kiambaa, Eldoret, during the post-election violence in 2008. At least 35 people died in the fire. Photos/FILE 

By BERNARD NAMUNANE bnamunane@ke.nationmedia.com AND OLIVER MATHENGE omathenge@ke.nationmedia.com

Two of the Ocampo Six want confirmation of charges hearings against them moved to mid October.

Lawyers for Eldoret North MP William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang yesterday wrote to the International Criminal Court requesting for a delay in the hearings for six weeks to allow them interview six witnesses they had lined up in their defence. (Read: Ruto awaiting ICC nod on witnesses)

In the applications, lawyers for Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey are quoted to have agreed with the request to delay the hearing date.

Lawyer Katwa Kigen, who represents Mr Ruto and Mr Sang, said they filed the applications yesterday with the Pre-Trial Chamber and were awaiting Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova’s ruling.

“We are seeking an extension to the date of hearing of confirmation of charges by six weeks. This is because we have not been given the greenlight to interview the witnesses we have planned to use in our defence,” he said.

The date for the confirmation of charges hearings against Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang was set for September 1.

The confirmation of charges hearings against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali is scheduled for September 21.

This means the confirmation of hearing charges against Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Mr Sang could begin on October 13, if their application is granted.

This is three days after the conclusion of confirmation hearings of the case against Mr Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura and Mr Ali.

The lawyers for Mr Ruto, Mr Kosgey and Sang are awaiting permission from the ICC to contact their six witnesses.

They were given two weeks to submit the evidence they would depend on to counter the arguments raised by Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo against their clients.

Mr Kigen said: “We have witnesses but we are waiting for the authority from the ICC to talk to them. You require the go-ahead from the Victims and Witnesses Unit of the ICC to call on any witnesses.”

Judge Trendafilova restricted the trio to two witnesses each.

They had proposed to call 43 witnesses, but the prosecution opposed the request.

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