Kenya: Ocampo lines up voluminous evidence
Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has indicated to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he will call 10 witnesses and 4,700 pages of documents to prove his case against William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua arap Sang.
The prosecutor told Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova on Monday morning during the first status conference in the case against the three Kenyans that “We will call not more than 10 witnesses at this time.”
At the same time the prosecutor has once against raised concerns for his witnesses claiming that some of the suspects hold positions of power that may be used to intimidate them.
“We wish to bring to madam President’s attention there is limited capacity to protect individuals under the circumstance that we are operating. What the prosecution means by that statement is we are operating in a situation where the suspects remain in position of power, where an environment the witnesses frequently disappear or become uncooperative,” Mr Ocampo’s representative in court said.
She told the court that they would file a detailed application on the concerns later in the week.
The defence was also asked to provide its list of witnesses and their statements. Lawyer David Hooper for William Ruto said they would definitely call witnesses.
He said they would contest the evidence during the confirmation of charges hearings and would call witnesses and other materials to counter any evidence the prosecution lays.
“Our reaction would heavily depend on what the prosecutor gives us and the court,” he said. “We are not in a position to indicate at this time the number of witnesses. We would think a minimum of 15 oral witnesses.”
On his part, Henry Kosgey’s lawyer George Oraro said they were not conversant with the evidence the prosecutor used to seek for summons as it was heavily redacted (concealed).
Mr Oraro however told the court that they would call witnesses to rebut any evidence that may touch on his client.
“We shall investigate and consider how many witness we can summon. The only proposition we can make for the moment is that – as the prosecution has indicated to call witnesses – we shall definitely call witnesses in rebuttal as it regards our client,” Mr Oraro said.
Radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang through his lawyer Katwa Kigen said they might call at least 15 witnesses but said that would depend on the number of documents that they wish to rely on.
The prosecution also told the court that they would redact (edit) at least 606 documents which 11,000 pages. This means that some of these documents would not be made available to the defence so as to hide the identity of their witnesses.
Mr Ocampo last week however told the court that redaction would greatly affect his case.
“The prosecution will have to redact its evidence heavily to protect against the disclosure of any information that could reveal the identity of witnesses. Such heavy redactions, however, will prejudice the interests of the prosecution (and also will result in a disclosure of information that would be too imprecise to significantly assist the defence).”
“The heavy redactions could disincline the Chamber to place much weight on the evidence. A factor that causes the Chamber to dismiss the probative value of the evidence will affect the Prosecution’s role,” the Prosecutor said when he applied to block the disclosure.