Four Kenyan ICC suspects to know trial date in JuneBy OLIVER MATHENGE in Nairobi | Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 16:31
Four Kenyans facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court will know when they will stand trial next month, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reported Tuesday.
This is after the ICC Trial Chamber V convened a Status Conference on June 11 for two of the suspects - former cabinet minister William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang.
The other two - Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former public service boss Francis Muthaura - will know the date of their trial on June 12.
Both Status Conferences will begin at 2pm Kenyan time.
Commenting on an earlier story carried by Sunday Nation newspaper, ICC spokesman Fadi Abdallah denied that the court had summoned the defendants for the conferences, though at any rate court watchers say their legal teams are required to attend.
In separate decisions made on Monday, Judges Kuniko Ozaki, Christine Van den Wyngaert and Chile Eboe-Osuji also asked the respective parties in the case to make written submissions by May 28 on the issues to be discussed at the Status Conference.
“If the parties, the legal representatives of victims and the Registry are currently aware of any other issue that is required to be resolved before the commencement of the trial, they should bring it to the attention of the Chamber promptly,” the Trial Chamber judges said in their decision.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura have already asked the judges not to begin the trial proceedings until their appeal on whether they should be tried by the ICC is determined.
The judges said the parties in the case should also make written submissions on their interpretation in law of the modes of individual criminal responsibility applicable to the case by June 25.
They also said that the victims will continue to be provisionally presented by their Pre-Trial Chamber lawyers Sureta Chana and Morris Anyah until a decision is reached on their replacements.
According to the judges, during the Status Conference, the participants will among other things determine the date of the trial, languages to be used in the proceedings, in particular, the languages spoken by the witnesses the parties intend to call and the anticipated length of the presentation of evidence at trial.
The Status Conference will also determine whether the prosecution anticipates issues concerning the protection of witnesses including the disclosure of the identities of witnesses. They will also determine whether a protocol regulating contacts between the parties and protected witnesses called by another party is necessary.
The Status Conference will also determine the timing, volume and format of disclosure of evidence, material already disclosed and intended to be disclosed by the prosecution and whether there are any outstanding issues relating to documents or information which the prosecution obtained on the condition of confidentiality.
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