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Kosgey defence narrows on 'witness number six'

By | Sep 6th 2011 | 4 min read
By | September 6th 2011

By Wahome Thuku

Witness Number Six. The anonymous individual was Henry Kosgey’s key target as he laid his defence at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The former minister put away his witnesses and narrowed down his defence to this one anonymous witness, who had drawn him to the ICC proceedings.

And this witness, whose Kosgey’s lawyer George Oraro had no kind words for, has also implicated Prime Minister Raila Odinga as a financier of the 2008 post-election violence.

Upon realising that the prosecution’s case against him hinged on this witness, Kosgey told the court that they needed not to call a witness on their side.

And the defence embarked on one agenda, to dismantle the evidence of this witness who accused Kosgey of having masterminded the chaos in Nandi District.

The fact that ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has not disclosed this witness gave Kosgey and his seven-lawyer defence team the blessings to discredit him in their favour.

"We do not know who this witness is. We are imputed from assessing any information about him which may allow us to know if he is reliable or not," Oraro submitted.

He said his client speculated that this witness could be a person whose reliability was in lowest end of scale.

"We don’t know what his motivation for giving evidence is," he said.

Witness number six has linked Kosgey to the network whose two policies, he claims, were to kick out some communities out of the Rift Valley to create uniform support and voting block for ODM and to stop PNU supporters from celebrating should they win the elections.

The network was allegedly established at a meeting on December 30, 2006 when ‘generals’ were appointed. Witness number six has described Kosgey as the mastermind of the attacks

"How does he become a mastermind of a plan which had been operating since 2006 with a hierarchical structure and carrying out meetings?" Oraro posed.

The network is said to have comprised of five heads, two of them being political. It’s said to have drawn in MPs and other prominent personalities who contributed funds and logistics.

According to the prosecution, Kosgey was subordinate to William Ruto in the hierarchy. He was in charge of Nandi District while Ruto was in charge of the entire Rift Valley.

The prosecution claims that Ruto and Kosgey capitalised on the long-standing land animosity between the Kalenjin and other communities to trigger the attacks.

And Ocampo introduced two limps of the alleged network as the political wing and the media, particularly Kass FM, which broadcasts in Kalenjin dialects.

His team claim the radio station was used by its broadcaster Joshua Sang to spread coded messages to the network and to collect fund.

Witness number six had linked him to meetings held in Nandi District from December 2006, to end of December 2007, to prepare for the attacks.

Oraro divided his defence into attack on the prosecution’s presentation of organisation or network and the elements of crimes against humanity filed against Kosgey.

The lawyer described the entire case against Kosgey as unreliable.

"The evidence of witness number six is not only wholly unreliable but even the prosecution found it wanting and did not rely on it for their disclosure," Oraro said of the witness yet to be called by Ocampo team.

Oraro said the theories introduced by witness number six were not corroborated by any other witness.

He highlighted a report by the Akiwumi Commission on tribal clashes and another by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights on the post-election violence, to demonstrate that ethnic clashes were broader as portrayed by this witness.

never attended meetings

Oraro argued that according to the prosecution evidence, Kosgey’s supporters expressed dismay that Kass FM was disparaging him.

Several times the court went into private session to enable Oraro produce some documents in camera.

The prosecution claims during the meetings in Nandi District, maps of the target areas were distributed.

Oraro posed, "Are there substantial grounds to believe that the network with the agenda could be convened and not attended by Kosgey if he was a co-perpetrator?"

Oraro said his client was never requested by the Kenyan police or the office of the ICC prosecutor to make any statement.

The lawyer quoted a newspaper article in The Standard, in which Kosgey was reported on December 16, as having attended a meeting in Nyanza Province also addressed by the then ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga and Prof Anyang Nyong’o.

"His position is that he has never attended any of the meetings," said Oraro.

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