The Hague, September 7, 2011 (FH) - The Defence of William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang has presented its arguments since Monday in the confirmation of charges proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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The defendants, who appeared freely before the court, are suspected of crimes against humanity committed in the aftermath of Kenya's Presidential election in December 2007.

Their lawyers have denounced weakness of the Prosecutor's evidence.

First to take the stand, David Hooper, intervening in William Ruto' s defence, invited the judges to watch the broadcast of a TV speech made by Ruto on January 1st, 2008, in which the Eldoret MP is seen calling on people to stop violence.

When the violence erupted, the defendant was not in the Rift Valley but in Nairobi, his lawyer argued. Investigations are "biased", David Hooper claimed because the Prosecutor shunned from presenting any exculpatory evidences. Hooper insisted: "There is no evidence with respect to meetings, telephone calls, statements made by William Ruto. No receipts, no tracking of money transfers ».

The Defence lawyer dismissed the Prosecution's "theory" according to which Ruto and Kosgey were leading a "network" set up to commit violence after Mwai Kibaki's victory in the Presidential election. "Who are they ? Who are the financiers ? Who are the tribal elders who were allegedly members of this "network"?, "he asked.

He also pointed to the fact that " a witness claimed that funding had come from Raila Odinga", at the time Kibaki's main rival and currently Kenya's Prime Minister. "The point I'm making here is not to implicate Raila Odinga but to indicate that it would seem the Prosecution doesn't believe in their own account. There's been no effort made to bring Mr. Odinga before this court". According to the David Hooper, two other Prosecution witnesses described Raila Odinga as the "chief man, the commander » of the network responsible for the post-electoral violence.   

Pleading thereafter, Henry Kosgey's lawyers upheld their client had never participated in any meetings of the alleged network. "What is in dispute here is whether the violence was all spontaneous or whether some of it was planned... He [Kosgey] doesn't know and did not participate in it", defence lawyer George Oraro asserted requesting the start of "a serious investigation".

In defence of Joshua Sang, Joseph Kigen-Katwa similarly stated his client had not attended any network meetings and produced alibis to prove it. For instance, the day of one of the alleged meetings, the defendant was presiding over the final of a soccer match, according to him.


© Hirondelle News Agency