Arusha, January 10, 2015 (FH) – A defence witness in the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto was this week found dead. Meanwhile, Ugandan rebel Dominic Ongwen who is wanted by the ICC surrendered to American troops in Africa. 

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ICC/KENYA Meshak Yebei, a Kenyan businessman who was a key defence witness for Deputy President William Ruto, was found dead on January 4, with his body horribly mutilated. The ICC Registrar, who had offered the witness security measures, said the Court was “profoundly concerned” and stood ready to assist the Kenyan investigations. The ICC Prosecutor meanwhile rejected speculation that her office was involved in the murder. Fatou Bensouda’s office also said Yebei was part of a network to corrupt prosecution witnesses in the trial of Ruto and his co-accused, the journalist Joshua Sang.  CÔTE D'IVOIRE/JUSTICE In Côte d'Ivoire, trial hearings of Simone Gbagbo and 81 others started Tuesday before a court in Abidjan, following a brief preliminary hearing on December 30. The former First Lady and these other former dignitaries of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo’s regime are accused of acts of violence committed during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis. First in the dock was Jean-Marius Kéipo, aged about 40, who is accused of participating in armed groups, xenophobia and tribalism. ICC/UGANDA According to the US State Department, LRA rebel commander Dominic Ongwen surrendered to US troops in Africa. On Wednesday, Amnesty International called for Ongwen, who is wanted by the ICC, to be quickly handed over to the international court.   SENEGAL/DRC Senegalese judicial authorities on Thursday indicted and placed under judicial surveillance a former Congolese police, Major Paul Mwilambwe, suspected of having played a key role in the 2010 assassination of human rights defenders Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana. The indictment follows an extraterritorial jurisdiction request for acts of torture filed on June 2, 2014, by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the families of Floribert Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana.