ICC judge warns against revealing witness identities
The presiding judge of Trial Chamber V(a) of the International Criminal Court has expressly warned against any action that would result in the exposure of witness’ identities in the ongoing cases against Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang.
Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said that any such action is an offence under Article 21 of the Rome Statute. “Any revelation of the identity of a witness whose identity has been protected by this court amounts to an offence in this court. So to will any attempt to engage in any such revelation,” Eboe-Osuji said.
The judge continued to say that persons within the trial chamber, the gallery, Kenyan journalists, bloggers, social media users and their web hosts should desist from such illegal operations which have legal implications.
“Such conduct will be investigated and the culprits will be prosecuted,” Eboe-Osuji concluded in his statement as the proceedings reconvened from a closed session.
The remarks follow activity on social media in which journalists and bloggers are alleged to have unearthed the identity of witness 536, the first prosecution witness to take the stand against the accused in the ongoing case.
As a result of the alleged revelation of the witness, the prosecution made an application to have all witnesses cross-examined in closed sessions to protect their identity.