The controversial Ruto, Sang case received a re-visit by the appeal chambers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which sat on Friday February 12 to unanimously agree to reverse the decision of ICC Trial Chamber of 19 August 2015, which granted the Prosecutor’s request for admission of prior recorded testimony into evidence pursuant to amended rule 68 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (RPE).
The appeal was composed of Judge Piotr Hofma?ski (Poland), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina), Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert (Belgium), Judge Howard Morrison (United Kingdom) and Judge Péter Kovács (Hungary). But judge Hofma?ski presided over the appeal and read a summary of the judgment in open court.
Rule 68 of the RPE which was amended by the Assembly of States Parties on 27 November 2013, was discovered by the Appeals Chamber to be retroactive in application especially as the trial started on 10 September 2013, before the amendment to the rule and its application negatively affected the overall position of Mr Sang and Mr Ruto in these proceedings.
Hence, the Appeals Chamber decided to reverse the decision to the extent that prior recorded testimony had been admitted under amended rule 68 for the truth of its contents.
More to this, the Appeals Chamber noticed that there was nothing in the drafting history of amended rule 68 of the RPE that revealed an error in the conclusion of the Trial Chamber which made it subject to a consideration of article 51 (4) of the Rome Statute.
According to standard digital, court records revealed why Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wanted the testimony to remain in court records, and why defense lawyers wanted the judges to overturn the trial chamber’s ruling.
The renounced testimony of the first hostile witness had the DP at the edge of planning a meeting ahead of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. But before he the statement was waved out, the witness had implicated Ruto in meetings whose agenda included buying weapons to commit the alleged crimes.