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Ocampo loses bid to withhold evidence

Thursday April 7 2011

Mr Moreno-Ocampo argued that although the disclosure of the material was key in the case against the six suspects, the admissibility challenge mounted by the Kenyan Government is “an obstacle to the disclosure process”.  Photo/FILE

Mr Moreno-Ocampo argued that although the disclosure of the material was key in the case against the six suspects, the admissibility challenge mounted by the Kenyan Government is “an obstacle to the disclosure process”. Photo/FILE 

By OLIVER MATHENGE [email protected]

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Thursday suffered a major blow after International Criminal Court judges lifted the veil on the evidence he is holding.

The Pre-Trial Chamber judges went ahead to dismiss his objection to a ruling that he reveals the evidence he has against the Ocampo Six in 10 days.

The judges ruled that a status conference would be held on April 18 and the prosecutor, defence and registry are welcome, but the suspects need not attend.

The conference will also allow the chamber to plan the flow of the rest of the proceedings, according to the judges.

At the conference, presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said, the prosecutor will make available all documents he wants to use in the confirmation hearing, witnesses he intends to call and their statements.

She added that this will allow the suspects’ lawyers to prepare their defence ahead of September 1, the tentative date for the commencement of the confirmation of charges hearing.

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However, Mr Moreno-Ocampo challenged the decision, arguing that although the disclosure of the material was key in the case against the six suspects, the admissibility challenge mounted by the Kenyan Government is “an obstacle to the disclosure process”.

He added that the chamber should first give time for the prosecution to make a submission on the Kenyan Government’s application.

But judge Trendafilova said that the Kenya Government’s application only prevents the prosecutor from further going on with the investigations and not with the disclosure.

She added that there were provisions under the Rome Statute that give the opportunity for whatever investigations are ongoing to be allowed to proceed.

“Another point that I am left to make is related to the principle approach of the Pre-trial Chamber II to respect the principle of expeditiousness.

“So the Chamber already issued a decision setting up the procedure to be followed in regards to the application by the Kenya Government and which has given a certain period of time for the parties to respond,” Ms Trendafilova said.