The Appeals Chamber of the ICC has determined that previously recorded statements of five prosecution witnesses who recanted those statements or failed to show up in court cannot be used as evidence in the trial of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto (pictured) and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.
The ICC Prosecutor had alleged that the five witnesses were intimidated into withdrawing from the trial and sought to produce their original testimonies as evidence under an amendment to Rule 68 of the Court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence adopted by the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), in November 2013.
The Judges ruled that Trial Chamber V(a) had erred in originally authorizing the Prosecution to introduce the testimony as Rule 68 was adopted after Ruto and Sang’s trial opened on 10th September 2013. The Judges supported the Defence submissions that the rule should not have been applied retroactively as it negatively impacted upon the Accused.
Presiding Judge Piotr Hofmanski emphasized that the approach taken by the Appeals Chamber was entirely based on the ICC Statute and Rules prohibiting non-retroactivity. He noted that the history of the ASP’s drafting of the rule on the admission of prior recorded testimony does not mean that it cannot be used in ongoing cases.
Click below to read about this story in more detail:
Image source: www.pri.org
Coalition for the ICC, 12th February 2016
www.ijmonitor.org, 12th February 2016