Ocampo’s appeal over evidence fails

What you need to know:

  • The Pre-trial chamber dismisses three grounds cited in bid to withhold evidence on six suspects

The International Criminal Court has denied Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo a chance to appeal against a ruling compelling him to disclose all evidence to lawyers of The Hague Six.

The latest ruling by Pre-Trial Chamber Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova is a setback to Mr Moreno-Ocampo, who had wanted to withhold some of the evidence he would not use during the confirmation hearings, which will begin in September.

Judge Trendafilova dismissed the three grounds, which the prosecutor had cited in his application, among them the fear that he may not be ready to play his part at the time the confirming hearings start.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo had argued that it would take him 421 days to go through the evidence — both incriminating and exonerating — and disclose it to the defence.

He also argued that it will require him to divert personnel from his office from their daily duties to the preparation of the evidence.

“The Single Judge (Ms Trendafilova) is not persuaded why and how the full disclosure of exculpatory (exonerating) evidence in the prosecutor’s possession or control would ‘unfairly hamper’ his ability to prepare himself for the up coming confirmation of charges hearing,” she said in the ruling made on Monday.

Judge Trendafilova stated that the prosecutor has had enough time collecting the evidence during his investigations in Kenya. The judge asked him to organise his office to prepare the analysis on the evidence in time for the confirmation hearings.

“The Prosecutor has not convincingly put forward any argument why the disclosure of exculpatory evidence already in his possession or control may be considered an ‘onerous requirement’, warranting the drastic measure of postponing the confirmation of charges hearing,” the judge said.

Ms Trendafilova had ruled, on April 18, that both the prosecutor and the defence lawyers will disclose the evidence in their possession to each other before the confirmation hearings.

The prosecutor has named Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Public Service boss Francis Muthaura, Postmaster-General Hussein Ali, suspended ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang as suspected masterminds of the 2007/2008 post-election violence.