ICC Day 2: Ocampo’s case against William Samoei Ruto is slowly crumbling
Posted by African Press International on September 2, 2011
By Korir, Chief editor API
September 2/2011,Hague: Today was Ruto’s happy day in court because the prosecution’s case has shown signs that it is starting to crumble.
The prosecution dwelt on statements that leaves no doubt as to allow to be characterised as innuendos and lies received from desperate witnesses in exchange for cash and exciting lifestyles in Western Capitals.
To those who know the Kalenjins and the way they operate humbly, will find today’s proceedings best suited to be used in a fantasy movie.
The problem here is the fact that Ruto and his co-suspects, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang are dealing with the “european ears and eyes” that may easily be swayed and made to believe the unbelievable. One fact that cannot be disputed by those who follow the case closely with the ability to analyse the evidence presented by the prosecution is simply to reach a conclusion that the prosecution is trying to award Mr Ruto a medal for “organisational skills to plan murder.” If the evidence as was presented to the court by the prosecution on Ruto’s organisational skills to plan and execute murder were only meant as fiction, then a medal award is suitable.
All parties in court agree that many Kenyans lost their lives in 2007/2008 post-election violence. However, the prosecution, by using written statements from 8 witnesses who did not appear in person, denied the defence their rightful opportunity to cross-examine them. The prosecution team seems to think they were well prepared to come and punch Ruto to the ground, but as it turned out, as the day progressed in court, it became evident that Ruto’s team gave heavier blows to the prosecution.
From today’s proceedings where Ocampo’s team avoided calling any live witnesses, it is clear that he does not see the serious damage that confirmation of charges will do to the lives of the suspects and their families, especially if such confirmation of charges goes through due to the prosecution’s negligence to do the right thing.
A jovial Ruto (Below) leaving the court after his counsel punctured the prosecution’s evidence.
Mr Hooper for Ruto told the court that some witnesses have already revealed that they were paid to nail Mr Ruto.
In a thunder-like voice, Mr Hooper told the court that Kenya was not another Somalia. Kenya, he said, is a sophisticated country operating sophisticated mechanism – asking the court ” where are telephone or radio transcripts telling us about my client’s operations, if any.
Angered by the prosecution’s methods whereby they have not brought to the court even one exonerating statement, the lawyer told the court that the prosecutor had not done his job because he has a duty to present to the court both sides of the story, not only incriminating statements.
Stressing the fact that this is the first case where the prosecutor himself initiated the ongoing process, one that has not been referred to this court by any UN organ, Ruto’s lawyer told the court that the prosecution was presenting a narrow and one-sided case about the situation in Kenya.
The lawyer posed questions to the court; Who are the military men the prosecution is talking about – the 3 names we have been given?, who are the elders and others as? Why are we not getting specifics so that we are able to defend our clients?
He told the court that Mr Ruto was active in telling the population of Kenya to stop the spontaneous violence. He did not tell them to kill anybody as insinuated by the prosecution’s anonymous witnesses.
The lawyer reminded the court that after Ruto’s presentation yesterday, people must be asking themselves ‘ Did the prosecution get it right this time?, adding that there is deep emotions in this case.
The counsel told the court that if the confirmation of charges were to go through, the trial will be in the future. This will put Ruto’s presidential ambitions on hold – adding , it is better to stop a bad case now.
The court was also reminded that the case was lacking specificity, and at the same time the counsel informed the court that the Prime Minister Raila Odinga was quoted in the media (Hooper reading an article on Raila to the court)saying, the violence was as a result of election rigging, it was a revolution and was spontaneous, not organised. He also told the court that others have said Raila was the perpetrator’s commander, (Hooper holding a hierarchy chart he had on his right hand), and continued – others have also said Raila financed some activities. Mr Hooper, however, was quick to tell the court that he was not trying to put the blame on Raila.
Mr Hooper stressed the need for the prosecution to bring the case high over the fence and present believable evidence, instead of doing a shady job and relying on anonymous witnesses that he (the prosecutor) has denied the defence and the court to cross-examine for the benefit of the clients who are facing serious charges. Their rights must be respected, Mr Hooper said, and the only way to do that is for the prosecution to give the defence the necessary information so that we are able to conclusively argue the points on behalf of our clients; he concluded.
The case continues tomorrow