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Sang opposes reduction of his legal aid budget

COUNTIES
By - | February 8th 2013

By Felix Olick

KENYA: Journalist Joshua arap Sang, who is facing charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opposed reduction of his legal aid, saying it could hurt his defence.

He told Trial Chamber V judges the budget cuts and restrictions imposed by the Counsel Support Section could impact on his trial rights.

Through lawyer Katwa Kigen, Sang said the budget, including salaries for his counsels, legal assistants and case manager has been reduced by a third since June last year.

“The Counsel Support Section has made it clear the costs of traveling to and from The Hague and Nairobi will only be covered for Counsel and Associate Counsel,” said Kigen.

The radio presenter maintained the court has an obligation to cover all legitimate expenses associated with his court attendances including travel fares, accommodation and basic living expenses.

He complained that he has in the past paid the expenses with assurances of reimbursement.

“However, to date, he has not been refunded the money he incurred at the June 2012 Status Conference,” said Kigen.

During the Pre-trial stage, Sang was entitled to one counsel at a maximum fee of 10,832 Euros (Sh1,267,344) monthly, a legal assistant for 6,113 Euros monthly (Sh715, 221) and a case manager paid 4,872 Euros (Sh570,024).

There was also a monthly cumulative lump sum of 4,000 Euros (Sh468, 000) to cover expenses of the team. The total legal aid amounts to Sh3,020,786 for one month.

The ICC also gave a provision for 73,006 Euros (Sh8, 541,702) for investigation in the entire period. Sang is the only suspect among the four Kenyans on legal aid.

The former radio presenter shelved his political ambitions to concentrate on the case facing him.

Mr Sang, who earlier quit his job at Kass FM International, had declared interest to contest for senator in Trans-Nzoia County. “After prayers and deep discussion I opt out of active participation in the current politics of this country so that I can get enough time to concentrate on the case that is facing me at the ICC,” said Sang in a brief statement last October.

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