ICC Judge Reveals Role in Uhuru, Ruto Cases

  • Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC during a Past Hearing
    Deputy President William Ruto at the ICC during a Past Hearing
    File
  • International Criminal Court (ICC) judge, Miatta Maria Samba, has revealed that she played a role in establishing a case that implicated President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and four other Kenyans in the 2007-2008 post-election violence in the country.

    Judge Samba on Tuesday, August 31, disclosed that she formed part of the team that investigated the contested elections, took part in the gathering of evidence including getting witnesses in all the cases that saw Uhuru and Ruto charged at the Hague-based court.

    However, the Trial Chamber III judge, claimed she had a very limited role especially in maintaining contact between witnesses and the investigators.

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta at the ICC in Hague, the Netherlands in 2014
    File

    She went to further tell the ICC that she was not in a position to recall who the witnesses were.

    “I am not in a position to provide any further details with regard to any witnesses with whom I interacted with while providing operational support to investigators working on the Kenya situation or cases related to this situation," Justice Maria said.

    She added that her only role was to offer support for investigations such as renting interview rooms and supporting the movement of witnesses to interview locations.

    “At no point in time during my employment with the Office of the Prosecutor did I actively participate in the gathering of evidence or the taking of a witness statement. I was also not privy to any witness statements taken by the prosecution during its investigative activities. Nor did I have access to any electronic data banks containing evidence," she stated.

    This information was disclosed following Lawyer Paul Gicheru's petition to the court seeking to know the judge's prior employment at the Office of the Prosecutor between 2006 and 2010.

    The prosecution team further defended the judge after her admission stating that Gicheru was supplied with all documents detailing Maria's past engagements on July 29.

    “Since then, the prosecution has not identified any further information of relevance to the matter at hand. This is all the prosecution has to inform the chamber at this specific stage. Should the defence decide to make further submissions or seek any relief in relation to this matter, the prosecution will respond accordingly within any deadline set by the chamber,” argued deputy prosecutor, James Stewart.

    Uhuru's case at the ICC was terminated while that of Ruto and his co-accused, journalist Joshua Arap Sang, was stopped on grounds that there was no substantial evidence to prosecute them.

    Lawyer Gicheru, on the other hand, surrendered to the ICC in 2020 following an arrest warrant issued against him over claims of witness interference.

    Lawyer Paul Gicheru when he appeared before the ICC via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre on November 6, 2020
    Paul Gicheru when he appeared before the ICC via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre on November 6, 2020
    The Standard
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