The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecution has issued a notice to the Trial Chamber ending her evidence against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang.
ICC’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
ICC’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda notified the Trial Chamber in a letter saying, “In compliance with the Trial Chamber’s order ICC-01/09-01/11-1948-Conf, the Prosecution hereby notifies the Trial Chamber, Parties and participants that it formally closes the Prosecution’s case.”
The ICC Outreach Coordinator for Kenya and Uganda Ms Maria Kamara, however clarifies that the case against Ruto and Sang has not been terminated or withdrawn but means that no more witnesses by the Prosecution against Ruto are allowed
“The notice does not mean termination of proceedings or withdrawal of case. It refers to closing of presentation of the prosecution’s evidence in the case of Ruto and Sang,” she said in a text.
She noted that the litigation continues.
Before the trial can proceed to the Defence phase, several litigation issues will have to be resolved, including final determination by the ICC Appeals Chamber of Defence appeals against the Trial Chamber’s 19 August 2015 “ Decision on Prosecution Request for Admission of Prior Recorded Testimony,” pursuant to amended Rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
The trial in the Ruto and Sang case opened on 10 September 2013, and 29 witnesses have appeared in the courtroom for the Prosecution.
Earlier, the Trial Chamber allowed Ruto and Sang to appeal against the admission of evidence disowned by witnesses.
The two had argued that it would be wrong for the court to allow recanted evidence without them questioning it.
Ruto’s defence wants to appeal on 11 issues touching on the impact the ruling would have on his case.
He also wants the Appeals Chamber to determine whether the trial judges “erred when it failed to provide sufficient reasoning regarding the standard of proof”.
For now, it is time for Ruto and Sang’s defence teams to make their presentations.
Ruto and Sang face charges of crimes against humanity following the 2007/08 post election violence that left at least 1,300 people dead and over 600,000 others displaced.
Early this year, the ICC cleared President Uhuru Kenyatta of the charges of crimes against humanity that were facing him citing lack of enough evidence to prosecute his case.
Others who were cleared include former Head of Civil Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura, former Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and former Police Commission Major Gen. Hussein Ali.