TBy Evelyn Kwamboka
International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has told the court he needs 421 days to review the evidence to comply with orders given last week.
In his request to be allowed to appeal against the order by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova last week to disclose his evidence against the six suspects, Ocampo says it is unfair to require him to disclose all his evidence now, when the confirmation hearings are still so far away.
He also says if he were to fully comply with judge Ekaterina’s order, he would have to review and disclose 12,900 pages of documents. This he says would take him 421 days.
International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo
But by Friday evening, ICC had not issued any orders stopping the status conference scheduled for Monday. It is at this conference that Ocampo is expected to disclose to the defence lawyers his evidence against the six suspects, ahead of the confirmation hearing set for September.
The lawyers are expected to leave the country on Sunday.
The suspects are MPs William Ruto (Eldoret North), Henry Kosgey (Tindiret), radio journalist Joshua Sang, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
Ocampo’s move to seek more conditions against six post-election violence suspects and to delay disclosure of his evidence has been challenged by Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey’s lawyer.
Ordered to disclose
In a response signed and filed at the ICC by Kosgey through his lawyer, George Oraro, he argues that if Ocampo is allowed to appeal against the decision in which he was ordered to disclose his evidence, it would hinder the defence’s preparation of its case.
Referring to ICC’s previous decisions, Oraro said the defence has absolutely no duty to allow the prosecutor to inspect the defence files or have any other form of access to defence information.
"None of the three issues raised by the prosecution affect the fairness and expeditiousness of the proceedings," he said.
If the appeal on disclosure by Ocampo succeeds, Oraro said, the net result would be to render the proceedings unfair to the defence.
On the issue of more conditions to be imposed on the suspects, he said his client has strictly complied with and adhered to the conditions set out by ICC in March.
Oraro said that the prosecutor confirmed in his letter dated March 30 he would not seek a variation of the conditions of the summonses.
If allowed to appeal, Ocampo will seek an order requiring the suspects to post bond, in a sum to be determined by the Pre-Trial Chamber II and declare their financial information under oath, for purposes of guaranteeing that they will not fail to appear before the court when required and they be prohibited from making public comments about the case.
The defence opposed Ocampo’s application on grounds that the prosecution has provided no reasons to justify its request for modification of summonses conditions and the conditions requested for are unnecessary and inappropriate.
Oraro said the prosecutor has a duty to act with diligence, adding that his client intends to comply fully with the chamber’s order and has demonstrated his willingness to do so.
"There is no justification for the imposition of the additional summonses conditions as requested by the prosecution," he said.
There are no grounds set out by the prosecution for seeking his address, email and other information. Similarly there is no basis for seeking financial information.
Judge Trendafilova made clear during the initial appearance on April 7 and 8 that the suspects are under no obligation to attend the status conferences.