Uhuru wants prosecution stopped from contacting ICC witnesses
Last updated on 19 Jun 2012 12:28
By FELIX OLICK
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta wants the Trial Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prohibit the prosecution from contacting his defence witnesses.
Uhuru also wants the prosecution to be compelled to disclose all the direct, indirect or attempted contacts the prosecution could have had with his potential defence witnesses.
In his submission to the Trial Chamber V Judges, Kuniko Ozaki, Christine Van den Wyngaert and Chile Eboe, Uhuru argued that the prosecution should be restrained from contacting a party or a participant in the proceedings until the Chamber has established an appropriate protocol.
“The Defence hereby respectfully requests the Chamber to immediately issue an order prohibiting the Prosecution from contacting through direct or indirect means ‘potential defence witnesses,” argued Uhuru’s Defence Counsel, Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins.
The Defence said that they filed the motion because of the revelation during the first Status Conference last week that the prosecution had been in contact with at least one of former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura’s Defence witnesses.
According to Uhuru’s defence team, the prosecution had breached the law by maintaining contact with a defence witness without following the accepted ICC protocol.
“The motion filed arises from the revelation during Trial Chamber V’s (the “Chamber”) first Status Conference on June 12, 2012 that the prosecution had been in contact with at least one of Muthaura’s defence witnesses without following the accepted protocol of the International Criminal Court in relation to contacting witnesses of another party or participants in the proceedings,” the motion reads in part
Meanwhile, the new ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has disclosed exculpatory evidence to all the four Kenyans facing trials at The Hague based Court.
Bensouda disclosed the two items of potentially exculpatory evidence and 17 other items under Rule 77 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence last week on Wednesday.