Ruto team alleges probe was political.

Ruto on Monday sought to illustrate that the ICC investigations were full of political.

Deputy President William Ruto (centre) and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang (third left), at the ICC in The Hague on September 5, 2014. Ruto’s defence team on January 26, 2015 sought to illustrate that the ICC investigations were full of political undertones, following revelations that all witnesses were from PNU. PHOTO | DPPS

The defence team of Deputy President William Ruto on Monday sought to illustrate that the ICC investigations were full of political undertones, following revelations that all witnesses were from PNU.

Mr Ruto’s lawyer, Ms Shyamala Alagendra asked the 29th witness whether he was aware from which party all the witnesses interviewed by the prosecution prior to the confirmation of charges against the Deputy President and Radio presenter Joshua Sang were from, to which he replied: “The party of National Unity (PNU)”.

“Could you tell the court without mentioning any names which party all the witnesses first interviewed by the prosecution before the confirmation of charges belonged to?” asked Ms Alagendra, before the hearings went into a closed session.

With Mr Ruto having vied for the Eldoret North parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket in the disputed 2007 elections, the new information that the witnesses for the prosecution, were from ODM’s rival, PNU, could help the defence prove the narrative that the ICC investigations were politically motivated.

Monday’s session was largely held in private, apart from a request by Mr Ruto’s defence to ask the single question from witness P-0743, who took to the witness stand for the second week yesterday.

Mr Ruto was also present in court yesterday, having been given permission to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, before returning to the Hague, for two more days.

The DP and Mr Sang are charged with crimes against humanity, following the 2008 post-election violence, in which 1,133 people were killed and 650,000 others displaced.

The prosecution has already declared the 29th witness hostile, and yesterday’s disclosure that Ms Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, used witnesses from only one side of the political divide, adds to the difficulty her office has had with the witness.

Mr Ruto is expected back in the country tomorrow, after five days at The Hague, in fulfilment of a requirement that he attends the court on five consecutive days.

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