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Witness tell ICC judges attackers asked coded questions to isolate victims

By FELIX OLICK | October 24th 2013


The Hague: The fifth prosecution witness against Deputy President William Ruto continued his chilling account of how ODM supporters allegedly terrorised members of Kikuyu community in the Rift Valley after the disputed 2007 elections.

The witness, who was also a victim of the violence, claimed that the assailants mainly Kalenjin youths had a code they would use to identify ‘their people’.

He told Trial Chamber V Judges that the attackers would ask their perceived victims questions using a code and if they could not answer, they would be hacked to death.

“They had a code, which they used to ask people things and if they answered, they would not attack them,” claimed the witness identified only as p487 during his examination in-chief on Wednesday. 

The witness painfully narrated how the assailants — a combination of Kalenjins, Luos and a few Luhyas — hacked a drunken Kikuyu man to death on January 1, 2008.

“Did you see it yourself,” asked Prosecution Counsel Ade Omofade. The witness said he clearly saw how the man tried to fight the assailants before he was felled with ‘pangas, rungus and other weapons’.


But Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji pressed the witness to explain any other incident he saw the attackers ask questions using the code.

“Do I take it then that the only person you saw being attacked for failing to know the code was the drunken man?” asked the Nigerian Judge and the witness said yes.

The witness also claimed that on January 1, he encountered two bodies that were being burnt in tyres.

According to his testimony, when he sneaked back to his home on January 4 having run away after the presidential results were announced, his five-roomed house had been torched.

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