Deputy President William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan now wants former International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Ocampo investigated.
Speaking a day after ICC Judges declared the case against his client and journalist Joshua arap Sang a ‘mistrial’, Mr Khan blamed Mr Ocampo and the office of the prosecutor (OTP) for wrongfully indicting six Kenyans at the highest court in the world.
“The OTP and particularly Luis Moreno-Ocampo has a case to answer as to why he rushed to name six Kenyans including President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Deputy William Ruto and others in a rush at the eve of his departure from office,” Khan said.
The lead counsel for the Deputy President explained that the former prosecutor accused the six Kenyans of bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007-2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) without investigating diligently.
Four people who were among the Ocampo Six were Uhuru, the then deputy prime minister; Henry Kosgey who was Tinderet MP, former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former Postmaster General Hussein Ali.
“There should be an independent, dispassionate professional inquiry as to how the process in court did so patently failed. It failed principally because the case from the start was fundamentally flawed. Judges decide based on evidence presented,” he said at a media briefing in Nairobi.
Mr Sang’s lead defence counsel Kigen Katwa and Wilfred Nderitu, the common legal representative for PEV victims attended the press briefing, which was convened by Journalists For Justice (JFJ).
“Any objective observer will know that Mr Ocampo caused irreparable harm to administration of justice in the Kenyan cases by naming people without thorough investigations. His key witnesses we proved lied after scrutiny. No diligent investigation was carried out,” he added.
Earlier, there was drama before the start of the briefing, with Mr Nderitu on one side and Khan and Mr Kigen on the other disagreeing on whom among them would speak first. Khan insisted that in court it is always the victim’s lawyer who speaks first before the defence responds.
Nderitu and Khan clashed again on whether the case facing Ruto and Sang has finally collapsed, with Nderitu insisting that the decision made on Wednesday means the duo have been discharged, but not off the hook yet.
“The decision in a sense means that both Ruto and Sang have been discharged but not acquitted. Words are very important and acquittal will have certain consequences in law. An acquittal means there will be no other re-prosecution if one has already been acquitted,” Nderitu explained.
, adding that this is not the case for the two.
Khan shot back saying the decision by ICC judges Chile Eboe-Osuji and Robert Fremr was a clear communication that the case has collapsed because there was no evidence.
“No reasonable trial chamber could convict the case against Ruto and Sang as the key witnesses presented by the prosecution were unbelievable and incredible. In the words of the judges they were mendacious, dishonest and they tried to deceive the OTP and even the victims and witness unit,” Khan added.
Kigen said he sympathised with the PEV victims, adding that his defence that Sang was innocent, does not mean that his client has less regard for the plight they underwent in 2007-2008. “We share in the victims’ inconveniences, losses and prejudices. In all fairness my client is also a victim of the process. The judges made a decision and we are happy he has no case to answer,” he said.
Kigen added that an assessment of the judgement vindicates Sang totally, as he has no political might to interfere with the witnesses. “Sang had no capability to interfere with witnesses. He does not hold any political office, not even in religious leadership,” he said.