The CLR in the Ruto Sang case explained to the court the situation behind the withdrawal of 93 victims from the Kenya cases. In his view, only 60 out of the 93 actually fell within the scope of the ICC case against Joshua Sang and William Ruto. Some of the 60 were of ‘uncertain status’
The CLR stated that an organisation called the Amani Group had helped register these victims and it was this organisation that had forwarded the letter to the court seeking to withdraw 93 from the proceedings. The CLR however interviewed individual witnesses who had withdrawn. According to him, 2 main reasons were advanced by the withdrawing victims set out below:
- the Victims were unsure how reparations from the Victims Trust fund would be distributed; they were opposed to collective compensation (e.g. building a school or hospital in the area) as perpetrator groups would, in the victims’ view, be beneficiaries as well.
- Some felt that the ongoing peace and reconciliation process required that they pull out of the ICC proceedings
- Others worried that those they thought were perpetrators were never charged, and they feel the ICC did not listen to their concerns about this.
- Another group are relying on a case filed in the High Court of Kenya seeking compensation for their suffering during the violence.
The CLR also drew attention to the alleged attempts by the Kenyan Security Services to interfere in his meetings with victims.The suggestion was that an intimidating atmosphere had clouded the Kenya cases, discouraging victims from taking part.
He concluded that since the victims had not individually communicated their request to withdraw (Amani Group made the broad claim on their behalf) they should be presumed to be continuing with their participation until they do so.
The Ruto Defence applied to the Presidency of the ICC to vacate the decision of the Plenary Judges. The Judges had rejected his request to have his trial moved either to Tanzania or Kenya. They want the decision vacated to facilitate additional submissions by the Prosecutor and the Defence or, in the alternative to be reviewed for procedural impropriety and unfairness. They feel that a late filing by the Prosecutor seemed to sway the Plenary (see this post about the filing and Gladwell Otieno’s letter); the Defence- in line with one dissenting judge- felt that the Prosecutor had ambushed legal process by filing the submissions so late. The Defence suggested that the Plenary can be recalled to review its own decision.