Communiqué de presse: 18 septembre 2013

Ruto and Sang Case: ICC Trial Chamber V(a) states that interfering with witnesses is an offence against the administration of justice and may be prosecuted (video included)


Situation: Situation in the Republic of Kenya
The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang

Today, 18 September 2013, Trial Chamber V(a) of the International Criminal Court (ICC), seized with the case The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, issued a special reminder on the importance of witness protection and of possible sanctions for an act or attempted act that is considered an offence against the administration of justice.

Speaking at the beginning of this afternoon’s hearing, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji stated that “it is an offence against the administration of justice in this Court, pursuant to Article 70 of the Rome Statute, for anyone to do anything intentionally that would amount to corruptly influencing a witness, obstructing or interfering with the attendance or testimony of a witness, or retaliating against a witness for giving testimony in a case before the Court”. Article 70 provides that, for such conduct, the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine.

Judge Eboe-Osuji added that such conduct “may also amount to contempt of Court” and stressed that “any revelation of the identity of a witness whose identity has been protected by this Court amounts to an offence in [the ICC].  So too will any attempt to engage in any such revelation”. The Chamber called on everyone inside and outside the Courtroom, as well as members of the press, bloggers, social media members or participants and their websites or other online presence “to desist from doing anything that would reveal or attempt to reveal the identity of protected witnesses or to engage in secondary dissemination of such wrongful and illegal information”. The Presiding Judge concluded the special reminder by stating that “such conduct will be investigated and the culprits will be prosecuted”.

YouTube (for viewing):

AUDIO (for download):
(2.1 MB)

VIDEO (for download):
 (43.5 MB)

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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