Kituo Cha Sheria submitted it’s Amicus Curiae observations on victims’ participation in the trial proceedings (Ruto/Sang here, Kenyatta/Muthaura here). Kituo’s observations centred on the security of the Common Legal Representative, the need for effective lines of communication between the CLR in Kenya (not sure if he’ll be based in Nairobi or not) and the OPCV at the Hague, the need for adequate, cost-effective support for the CLR, including logistics, office space and funding Victims’ travel, the need for trust and credibility between the CLR and victims, judicial supervision of the Victims Representation System and ensuring adequate information reaches the victims about the new system of representation.
The registry completed its proposals for the victims participation system (Ruto/Sang here, Kenyatta/Muthaura here). This particular document deals mostly with concerns from the OPCV as to the staff allocated by the Registrar between the two cases.
The Trial Chamber in the Ruto/Sang case extended the deadline for the disclosure of certain witness evidence to the defence at the request of the prosecution. Subsequently the prosecution notified the trial chamber that it no longer intends to rely on the said witness citing ‘witness management issues’ and the doubts about the ‘ongoing willingness’ of the witness to testify.
The Prosecutor in the Ruto/Sang case filed a response to a defence request that the Trial Chamber compel the Prosecutor to state whether she still intended to rely on a number of witnesses from the Confirmation proceedings. The Prosecutor urges the Court not to compel disclosure of the list of witnesses earlier than 9 January 2013; pointing out that the list is still provisional and that there are security issues at play.
The Ruto/Sang Defence Teams have filed a joint request to the court to order the prosecution to indicate if it intends to continue relying on certain witnesses at trial. These witnesses’ statements were given in evidence during confirmation proceedings, but under pseudonyms and with redactions.
The Trial Chamber has granted Kituo cha Sheria amicus curiae status in both the Ruto/Sang and Kenyatta/Muthaura cases. The organisation will now submit observations based on the court’s Victims Decision which set out the procedure for victims’ participation at trial. Already the Office of Public Counsel for the Victims and the Registry had filed their proposals on this matter. In the course of the Kenya cases, various individuals and groups have attempted to enter proceedings as amici curiae . Most attempts failed. But in this decision, the Chamber felt that Kituo could give real assistance to the OPCV, Victims Participation and Reparations Section, Registry and Common Legal Representative as to the implementation of the Victims Decision. In particular, the Chamber noted Kituo’s various programmes on community participation at the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission as well as its outreach to PEV Victims gave it specialised knowledge and experience on the implementation of a system of victims representation and participation.
The Prosecution has applied to delay disclosure to the Kenyatta/Muthaura defence teams of the identities of six provisional witnesses until 30 days prior to the trial. According to the application, four of the witnesses are Mungiki insiders who can testify to a link between the accused, Mungiki, and the crimes alleged. The prosecutor claims that there are security concerns, making a dry comment on “the limited pool of senior Mungiki members who are still alive and willing to testify” (Former Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston’s report on Extra-judicial killings and the videotaped testimony of Police Constable Bernard Kiriinya vividly describe why the ‘pool’ is so limited)