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HomeTV47NewKenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru surrenders to ICC over 2007/08 post-election violence case

Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru surrenders to ICC over 2007/08 post-election violence case

A Kenyan lawyer, Paul Gicheru, on Monday, November 2 surrendered to the Netherlands authorities pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in March 10, 2015 by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Gicheru, formerly based in Kenya, is accused of “offences against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses”, in the case where current President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were tried at the ICC over the 2007/2008 Post Election skirmishes.

“The Court, through the Registry services, submitted a cooperation request to the Dutch authorities for the arrest and surrender of Mr Gicheru to the Court upon completion of the necessary national arrest proceedings,” said the Hague-based court.

Gicheru is being accused together with another Kenyan Philip Kipkoech Bett who is not in ICC custody.

In a warrant of arrest issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber II which was headed by Judge Ekatrina Trendafilova, ICC says that the Prosecutor provided 58 annexes containing documentary evidence, number of witness statements and transcripts of interviews that prove Gicheru and Bett influenced witnesses against the Rome Statute.

A criminal scheme

ICC further claims that there existed, from at least April 2013, a criminal scheme specifically designed to approach and corruptly influence witnesses of the Prosecutor through bribery and other incentives in exchange for either their withdrawal or recantation of their prior statements to the Prosecutor.

Gicheru is said to have been the manager and coordinator of the said scheme, who ICC says “finalised agreements with corrupted witnesses, organised the formalisation of their withdrawal and handled the payment.”

Bett on the other hand is suspected to have been the contact person who contacted witnesses and to make initial proposals before bringing them to the managers, particularly Paul Gicheru. ICC claims that witness P-397 was promised Kes5 million in exchange of withdrawal as a witness of the Prosecutor.

“There is also information that those witnesses who were successfully corrupted were enticed to make contact with other witnesses, for the purpose of their corruption,” insists ICC.

The 2007/08 violence saw at least 1,300 Kenyans losing their lives, hundreds injured and more than 600,000 displaced.

In December 2010, six Kenyans were accused for orchestrating the violence by then Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo. They were known as ‘the Ocampo Six’. They included William Ruto (who was the then suspended Higher Education Minister), Uhuru Kenyatta (was the Minister for Finance), Henry Kosgei (was Industrialisation Minister), Francis Muthaura (was the Head of Civil Service), Mohamed Hussein Ali (was the police chief), and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang.

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