- Prosecution had requested to introduce prior recorded statements from Witness P0341
- Application was made less than 24 hours before the second witness starts to give his testimony
The prosecution in the case against lawyer Paul Gicheru at the ICC suffered a blow after the court declined to admit new recorded statements from its second witness.
The court observed that allowing the introduction of evidence would be prejudicial to the defence in the case.
The prosecution had requested to introduce prior recorded statements from Witness P0341, a wish that the defence team led by Michael G Karnavas opposed.
In her ruling, presiding judge Miatta Maria Samba said the chamber did not agree with the prosecution since the application was made less than 24 hours before the second witness starts to give his testimony.
“The chamber also considered the motivation of the request. With the introduction of the prior recorded statements, the time estimated for the witness would have reduced from nine to one and a half hours. While shortening the time would be considerable, it will not be fair for the defence,” she said.
“Introduction of the evidence would be pre-judicial to the defence. The chamber rejects the request.”
Witness P0341 proceeded to testify before the court, though most of the hearing was in private session.
Private session is a protective measure that the court applies while the witness testifies to protect the witness's identity and whereabouts.
Gicheru has been accused of undermining the case against Deputy President William Ruto and former Kass radio presenter Joshua arap Sang at the ICC.
The trial started on Tuesday last week and the first witness, P0800, said he was offered a bribe to recant all his testimonies and asked not to appear before the court when needed to testify.
The witness said he was approached on more than one occasion in the same location within the country.
“The very first approach was done by Person Number 2. It was done by telephone and then in-person. He contacted me and then we met,” he said.
Witness P800 said he immediately contacted ICC prosecutors following the development “because he did not want the case to collapse.”
The prosecution, led by James Stewart and Anton Steynberg, said they believe Gicheru committed offences against the administration of justice in order to undermine the case against Ruto and Sang.
The defence team however maintained that the first prosecution witness is a liar.
Karnavas told the court the character of Witness P0800 was in question and that even the Office of the Prosecution had viewed him as a liar.
Karnavas further told the court that other witnesses said P0800 provided them with false information and manufactured falsehoods to be passed on to the prosecution.
Karnavas said witness Number 7 repeatedly said P0800 coached him to be a witness.
Edited by A.N