Lawyer Paul Gicheru wants a witness who was meant to testify in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang presented in court.
Gicheru faulted the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution for not seeking assistance from Kenya to compel the witness to appear before the court.
The witness was expected to link the Deputy President to the Turbo conflicts but retracted his evidence. It was alleged that the witness was bribed and influenced others to not cooperate with the prosecution.
Notably, the prosecution told the Trial Chamber that when they met the witness he refused to cooperate and they urged the judges to admit the witness’ evidence in his absence in the Gicheru case.Paul Gicheru when he appeared before the ICC via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre on November 6, 2020The Standard
Further, the prosecution stated that the witness claimed he did not know any lawyer by the name Gicheru and that he never received the money in order to withdraw from the case.
However, Gicheru told the Trial Chamber that the prosecution had proved that the witness was uncooperative and he had refused to appear before the Judges.
“The OTP offers no justification for requesting Trial Chamber III to risk turning the trial proceedings into a sham imitation of the truth-seeking process – a pretence trial devoid of subjecting accusatory witnesses of questionable repute and evidence to confrontation, thus inescapably saddling Mr Gicheru, who is presumed innocent, with the impermissible onus of having to rebut Prosecution witness' P-0495’s untested claims of having corruptly influenced him,” Gicheru's lawyers stated.
The prosecution further stated that another witness told them that the witness in the Ruto-Sang case had received a call and was offered a job in the security sector.
“Immediately after his meeting with prosecution witnesses P-0613 and P-0495 was intercepted and interviewed under caution by OTP investigators; P-0495 admitted to accepting money in exchange for his withdrawal from the ICC,” the deputy prosecutor James Stewart stated.
ICC prosecutors told the court that they blame politicians, mainstream and social media for campaigns against the court. Stewart also stated that support for the court declined after witness names were leaked.
The Gicheru case started off on a slow footing after the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) announced that a witness code-named P-0397 was nowhere to be found.
He had testified in court that Gicheru lured him and other witnesses to pull out from testifying in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.A session underway at Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court
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