September 11, 2013 (THE HAGUE) - The trial of Kenyan vice-president William Ruto and journalist Arap Sang continued on Wednesday in the International Criminal Court (ICC), with the latter’s defence counsel arguing that his client is a peace loving man who could not have orchestrated the crimes he is accused of.
Sang’s lawyer, Katwa Kigen, played several audio tapes before the court as evidence that journalists had been calling for peace among the Kalenjin people in the Rift Valley region, one of the areas that witnessed violence following the 2007-2008 disputed Kenyan elections.
Kigen also argued that his client was a junior staffer at Kass FM, the radio station on which he is accused of spreading hate messages.
“This trial is conducted against the background of two important facts; the first one is that he (Sang) was a junior staff member at the radio station; number two: he was not a shareholder in the said radio station; he had no political clout, he obtained no benefit from this situation, and the only benefit he got in the course of his services at the station was his remuneration”, Kigen told the court.
A day before, Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan argued that the court should dismiss charges against the Kenyan vice-president, saying he had “debunked” the evidence tabled by the prosecutor and proved the claims to be “nonsense”.
“I urge the prosecution to drop the charges against Mr Ruto. If not, the judges should terminate this case or enter a verdict of not guilty”, Khan told the court.
The prosecutor fired back that Khan had misrepresented the evidence tabled y the prosecution.
The hearing continues next Tuesday, when the prosecution is expected to produce witnesses in support of its case.
Ruto and Sang are accused of murder, forcible population transfer and persecution, during post-election violence that led to the death of 1,000 people and displacement of 600,000.