ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is seeking to retain lawyer Paul Gicheru's mobile phone, saying that it may contain crucial evidence.
While filing her submissions on the Kenyan lawyer’s conditional release case, Bensouda stated that personal items seized during Gicheru's arrest could be returned apart from his mobile phone.
Bensouda argued that the phone might have crucial information that needed to be examined and analysed.File image of former ICC prosecutor Luis Ocampo with his successor Fatou BensoudaFile
Further, she urged the court to consider the nature of charges against him, his intention to cooperate and if he would provide financial security.
“Given the urgency of the current request and the possibility that Gicheru may also wish to respond to such an application, the prosecution considers it preferable to set out its full arguments in relation to this request in a separate filing to which Gicheru can respond.
"In the meantime, the prosecution requests that this item is not yet returned to Gicheru but rather retained by the registry pending the resolution of the issue,” she added.
On his part, Gicheru, through his lawyer Michael Karvanas, opposed the application saying that accessing and analysing of Gicheru's mobile phone was an intrusion of his private life.
“The Office of the Prosecutor offers no compelling facts or evidence warranting an intrusion. Unless (it) provides detailed information in support of its assertions," reads the response.
He added that the prosecution was engaging in a fishing expedition in the hope of finding evidence to support the claimed offences against the Kenyan lawyer.
In November last year, Gicheru surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) five years after an arrest warrant was issued by The Hague-based court in 2015.
The advocate was accused of obstruction of justice in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.
The lawyer represented some of the witnesses in Ruto’s cases who later recanted their statements.
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