Arusha, September 12, 2013 (FH) – The first prosecution witness in the joint trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang will start testifying before the International Criminal Court (ICC) next Tuesday, according to judicial sources.

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During a hearing Wednesday, the prosecution told the court that this female witness was still on her way.

The prosecution intends to bring about 40 witnesses, including experts, to support its charges against the two men. They are both charged with crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution, committed in post-election violence in 2007-2008.

The much-awaited trial began on Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and from Ruto’s defence.

On Wednesday, it was the turn of lawyers for former Kass FM presenter Joshua Sang. Lead counsel Joseph Kipchumba Kigen-Katwa rejected charges that his client used his radio show to incite violence against the Kikuyu ethnic group. He claimed Sang had actually called for calm during the post-election violence in 2007-2008.

Addressing the court in person, Sang presented himself as a law abiding citizen and devout Christian incapable of inciting violence. “I did my job professionally,” he told the court.

The trial was adjourned to next Tuesday, when the prosecution will start presenting witnesses in a first session lasting until October 4. The second session is scheduled from October 14 to November 1.

Judges are to ensure that the trial is not in session at the same time as that of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, which is due to start on November 12. Kenyatta also faces crimes against humanity charges in connection with the post-election violence.

Ruto and Kenyatta are the highest serving political figures ever to be tried by the ICC. The Court has issued two arrest warrants against Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur, but has still not managed to secure his arrest.