By KBC Reporters
Deputy President William Ruto and former radio journalist Joshua will Friday know the International Criminal Court’s verdict on their objection to the use of recanted evidence.
The five-judge bench of the ICC’s Appeals Chamber led by Presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski will deliver the judgment in the case where Deputy president William Ruto and Journalist Arap Sang are challenging the decision by Trial Chamber V (a) that allowed Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to use primary testimony of five witnesses who had recanted their evidence.
In their appeal Ruto and Sang challenged the admission of prior recorded testimony in August 2015, as sought by International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. Bensouda requested to use recanted evidence under Rule 68 which was adopted at the 12th Assembly of States Parties in 2013.
Friday’s ruling on application of Rule 68 will definitely be a landmark ruling as it is likely to strengthen or weaken the prosecution’s case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.
In appealing the decision by the prosecution to use recanted evidence, Ruto and Sang argued that the court erred when it admitted into evidence prior recorded testimony of five crucial witnesses who either withdrew or recanted their testimonies to the prosecution.
The prosecution has objected to the application arguing that the said witnesses were intimidated or bribed to ensure that the case collapses. The prosecution on the other hand argues that the testimony of the five witnesses is of great impact to their case.
The decision by the prosecution to apply rule 68 in the case has come under harsh criticism not only from Ruto and Sang’s lawyers but also from the African Union which accused the ICC of violating an agreement made during the Assembly of States Parties.
Kenya has been mobilizing the international community, including the Assembly of States Parties, to stop the use of recanted evidence in the Ruto case, saying the amendment to Rule 68 of the Rome Statute was made after the case had started. Kenya has been pushing to block the amendment from being used retroactively.
The decision has come under sharp criticism not only from Ruto and Sang’s lawyers but also from the African Union which accuses the ICC of violating an agreement made during the Assembly of States Parties.