Lawyers for Ocampo Six to face-off with ICC Prosecutor Updated 12 hr(s) 56 min(s) ago Related Stories International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo EU backs extradition of Somali pirates Uhuru, Ruto peace pledge welcome Is Ruto heading back to Cabinet? Dont drag Raila into your political woes, leaders told Ruto acquitted By Evelyn Kwamboka Lawyers for six Kenyans against whom the International Criminal Court will in September rule if they should face crimes against humanity charges begin challenging the prosecutor tomorrow (Friday). The first face-off between Luis Moreno-Ocampo and the lawyers follows ICC judges invitation to them to challenge the prosecutors application for stringent orders to be issued against their clients. Since Moreno-Ocampo started investigations into Kenyas post-election violence, he has not been open to challenge by the suspects. Earlier attempts by two of the suspects, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and former Commissioner of Police, Hussein Ali, to challenge the prosecutor were rejected by Pre-Trial Chamber II judges on grounds it was premature. The floor is now open for the suspects to challenge the prosecutors evidence, beginning with their opposition to the application he filed last week. According to a ruling issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II presiding judge, Justice Ekaterina Trendafilova, the lawyers have to file their challenges by tomorrow 4pm, The Hague time. The other four who Moreno-Ocampo claims bear the greatest responsibility for post-election violence are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua arap Sang. In her ruling, Justice Trendafilova said she reduced the number of days required by the Rome Statute for the defence to respond to the application filed by the prosecutor, presumably to save on time. Under the Rome Statute, such a response should be filed within 21 days of notification of the application, unless otherwise ordered. The court would have to deal with the prosecutors application expeditiously to avoid derailing the Chambers schedule for the cases. Confirmation hearings to determine whether the cases against the six should proceed to trial begin on September 1. The defence lawyers and Moreno-Ocampo are also supposed to meet at a pre-trial conference on April 18. International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo The judges have also to dispense with the petition filed by the Kenya Government challenging the admissibility of the cases. Admissibility During the initial appearance last week, Moreno-Ocampo had said evidence sharing with the defence might be affected by the challenge of admissibility. But Justice Trendafilova rejected his argument that the Government case would affect the process. She, however, promised the chamber would expedite the ruling. The ICC prosecutor wants the court to issue orders requiring the six suspects to declare their wealth and post bond ahead of confirmation of charges hearings. He has also requested for orders that they provide, under oath, provision of all forms of contacts, including telephone and e-mail addresses, as well as commitment to appear at The Hague, at least once every six months. He wants them to certify under oath, that they have complied with all the conditions. All the six suspects, if Moreno-Ocampo has his way in court, will be required to ensure they do not make statements that can be interpreted as threats to potential witnesses, comment on the case, or tamper with prosecution evidence. But Moreno-Ocampo is certain to face challenges from defence lawyers. Ruto is represented by British lawyer David Hooper and Kenyan advocates Kithure Kindiki and Kioko Kilukumi. Kenyan lawyers George Oraro, Allan Kosgey and Julius Kemboy represent Kosgey. Sang has hired Kimutai Bosek, and Katwa Kigen to hold brief for him. Muthaura has hired British lawyer Karim Khan and Kenyans Kennedy Ogeto and Muriuki Mugambi. British lawyers Stephen Kay, Gilian Hingings and Benjamin Joyes represent Uhuru. US lawyer Gregory Kehoe, Canadian lawyer John Philpot and Kenyas Gershom Otachi are representing Ali. One of the defence lawyers who declined to be named said they were going to file their responses to the application tomorrow (Friday). If they fail to do so, the chamber would decide based on the merits of Moreno-Ocampos application. Submissions filed Mr Moreno-Ocampo filed the application on April 6, on grounds that if the suspects remain free pending the confirmation of charges, adequate conditions should be imposed to guarantee they continue to appear voluntarily and that they do not obstruct or endanger ICC investigations. In his submissions filed at the courts registry, the prosecutor argued the Rome Statute allows the chamber, at the request of the suspect, prosecutor, or its own motion, to amend the conditions. He said the law also allows the chamber to substitute summonses with warrants of arrest if the suspects failed to comply with any of the conditions imposed on them. When the summonses to appear were issued last month, the chamber, by a majority decision, summoned all the suspects and imposed some conditions on them. The chamber ordered they should not have direct or indirect contact with anyone who is believed to be a victim or witness of the crimes. It further stated they should refrain from influencing witnesses or tampering with the prosecutors evidence.