Written By:Catherine Achieng’a, Posted: Sat, Sep 03, 2011
Samson Cheramboss the retired Paramilitary chief took to stand Saturday at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This came as Eldoret North MP William Ruto moved to tear at ICC’s prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s evidence that retired military generals led attacks on the Party of National Unity’s (PNU) supporters at the height of the 2007-2008 post election violence.
Charambos denied ever attending meetings at Ruto’s home in which the attacks were alleged planned. Ruto also produced Henry Kiprono aka â€˜Mullei’ as his second witness as the confirmation of charges hearing entered the third day at The Hague.
The day began with Ruto’s defence team calling the 2 witnesses to the stand.
Retired Commander Cheramboss took to the dock first, having been mentioned by the ICC as one of the ex military commanders who aided Ruto in coordinating attacks in parts of South Rift during the post poll chaos.
During cross examination by one of the ICC prosecutors Cynthia Tai, Cheramboss denied having personally met Ruto or being to his house for any meeting prior to and immediately after the post polls chaos, maintaining he has never stepped in Ruto’s house.
He however gave contradictory information on the dates in which he first met Ruto, initially stating that he met the Eldoret North MP in June 2010, but later stated that he met him in June 2009 during a prize giving day at a school in Aldai constituency, even as the prosecution sought to know his whereabouts on the 6th, 14th and 16th of December 2007.
At the same time the prosecution queried how he got to know he was mentioned as an accomplice to the violence, having aided the military component of the violence.
To this he responded by stating that defence counsel Katwa Kigen had informed him but denied being coerced to appear as a witness.
At the same time one Henry Kiprono aka Murei who is a neighbor to Ruto, as well as chair of the Eldoret West district peace committee (DPC) denied allegations that Ruto held secret meetings in his house prior to the elections in which he distributed weapons to the youth.
Murei claimed that Ruto held only 4 meetings in his house prior to the elections, all of which he attended and the agenda of the meetings was to strategize his election bid and popularize the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as a party.
He added that at the time violence broke out in Rift Valley, Ruto had already travelled back to Nairobi and would not have been in a position to coordinate attacks as alleged by the ICC.
At the end of the cross examination, presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova ordered defense counsel Katwa Kigen to submit the written and signed testimonies for the witnesses to the court.
The court will continue its sittings on Monday 3.30 p.m. Kenyan time, in which Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey’s defence team is expected to call two witnesses.