Friday, 19 July 2013

ICC's Bensouda drops three witnesses in Uhuru case

Posted  Thursday, July 18  2013 at  11:52

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has withdrawn three witnesses she intended to rely on in President Kenyatta's trial.
Ms Bensouda said witnesses 5 and 426 had withdrawn their testimony due to security concerns.
"In sum, it appears that Witness 5’s concerns for his security have become too great for him to bear, and he has decided to withdraw as a consequence." Ms Bensouda said in a notice to Trial Chamber V judges dated Tuesday.
She said the prosecution had held discussions with witness 426 with a view to changing his mind but the talks were unsuccessful.
"The Prosecution has held discussions with Witness 426 to determine whether any measures could be taken to mitigate his concerns and secure his attendance at trial. These talks were unsuccessful and Witness 426
maintained that he was not willing to testify," Ms Bensouda said.
The prosecutor told the Chamber that 334's evidence was no longer necessary to prove her case.
"Upon further review, the Prosecution has assessed that Witness 334’s evidence is no longer necessary to prove its case and, in the interests of judicial economy, has decided to withdraw this witness."
Ms Bensouda informed interested parties in the case that she would apply to replace the witnesses if "suitable replacements" are found.
"The Prosecution informs the Chamber, the Defence and the Common Legal Representative for Victims of the changes to its list of witnesses to be relied on at trial," the prosecutor said.
"The Prosecution hereby gives notice that it may make applications pursuant to Regulation 35 of the Regulations of the Court in the future if suitable replacements for these witnesses are forthcoming."
President Kenyatta's trial is due to open on November 12.   

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