The court clarified the rules it had set for contact with witnesses- the Witness Preparation Decision and Witness Preparation Protocol- by stating that any contact between a party and its witness less than 24 hours before testimony had to be ‘appropriate in the circumstances’ and with ‘due regard to professional responsibility’. Substantive witness preparation should have been completed before that 24 hour period. Once testimony begins, the only contact between parties and their witnesses will be at the Court Room, unless otherwise authorised by the court. The Victims and Witness Unit will handle any welfare and logistics for witnesses.
Karim Khan, Francis Muthaura’s lead lawyer is now co-lead counsel for William Ruto. His colleagues in the re-shuffled team are David Hooper and Kioko Kilukumi. In some of the filings, including the one below, I notice that Khan is designated as ‘lead counsel’, which might cause some confusion as to who is in charge of the team. While having co-leaders in a team of lawyers is known to happen, it can also lead to lack of coordination: there’s a quote I recall (attributed to a prosecutor in the OJ Simpson trial) to the effect that ‘co-lead counsel usually means no lead counsel’.
In addition to asking the court for Ruto’s presence via video-link and asking the court to permit him not to be continually present at trial, William Ruto’s defence team now ask the Trial Chamber to allow Ruto to waive his right to be present at trial. Under this application, Ruto would then only need to appear for opening and closing arguments, at the request of the Court, at any hearing he ‘chooses to attend’ and for judgement.