ICC Trial Chamber V (A) was forced to go into several private sessions on Tuesday in the no-case-to-answer motion in the William Ruto and Joshua Sang cases.
Leading the Office of the Prosecutor, Lawyer Anton Steynberg, when addressing the Chamber on the pre-election preparatory meetings allegedly organised at Ruto’s Sugoi home in Eldoret : 23rd October 2007, Mid December 2007 and 23rd December 2007, he requested for a private session as some people present could be identified in public session.
Chile Eboe-Osuji, the Presiding judge granted him the request.
Read: Decision No. 5 on the Conduct of Trial Proceedings (Principles and Procedure on ‘No Case to Answer’ Motions)
Radio Journalist Joshua Sang, William Ruto, Presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, Lawyer Katwa Kigen and Lawyer Anton Steynberg during the no case to answr motion.
Earlier, Steynberg had informed the chamber that appropriate caution was needed in and out of private sessions to avoid loss of ‘hard work done in the sessions.’
Karim Khan, Ruto’s Defence Lawyer objected on the prosecution’s application need for private sessions. “Many witnesses gave evidence with pseudo names, voice distortion and It is of public interest that the sessions are held in public.”
Read: Ruto and Sang demand an acquittal of the ICC charges
However, Wilfred Nderitu, the Legal Victims Representative in the case said, “The nature of the testimony is identifying despite voice distortion. Information from this as well as other information provided may lead to victim identification.’
Thus, on whether to go for private sessions or not, the Presiding Judge ruled that, “The proceedings will be taken on a case by case basis. If need for private session depending on the nature of testimony, there will be one.”
Following the conclusion of the matter, the Prosecution went ahead and informed the chamber on the main features of the evidence they had against the accused relating to: mobilization and coordination of meetings, pre-election preparatory meetings, trainings of the Kalenjin youth and mobilization of the network to commit crimes after the announcement of the 2007 Presidential elections in Kenya.
The prosecution reiterated that events leading up to the Post-Election Violence, “It is not something that erupted spontaneously but was prepared for.”
“The prosecution intends to take the chamber at its word and focus not on the credibility, reliability and cogency of the evidence but rather on whether the quantum of the evidence may be enough to establish the guilt of the accused,” the prosecutor said.
The no case to answer motion is being held before Trial Chamber V(a) composed of Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji (presiding), Judge Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Judge Robert Fremr.