The Prosecutor in the Ruto/Sang case applied to the Court for certain in-court protective measures for some of her witnesses. The court granted part of the request: one witness would testify under a pseudonym, with voice and face distortion. Other witnesses will be monitored, with update information passed to the Court in case they require such protection. The other request by the Prosecutor for the use of closed sessions and redaction (censorship) of the public transcripts would be decided on a case-by-case basis as need arises, rather than generally for each witness.
The East African countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eritrea submitted notes verbal (unsigned diplomatic statements explaining the countries’ positions or requesting further action) as well as applications to be friends of the court (amici curiae). Eritrea is not a state member of the ICC. The Registry passed these documents on to the Appeals Chamber. These five countries wanted to be friends of the court in the Prosecutor’s appeal against the Decision on William Ruto’s continuous presence at trial.
The Appeals Chamber sought the opinions of the Prosecutor and the Defence as to the applications by the states.
The Prosecutor felt the issue was narrow and legal in nature, therefore the observations of the state would not really assist the court in making a decision.
The Defence felt the Countries observations would be helpful to the court given that matters of state cooperation would surface in the course of the appeal.
The Appeals Chamber allowed Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Eritrea to file observations as friends of the court. Judge Usacka disagreed with the decision of the majority of the judges.