ICC case against Gicheru closed over witness tampering

The witness claimed their life was unsafe after agreeing to testify

PHOTO: Paul Gicheru at the opening of his trial at the ICC on 15 February 2022 ©ICC-CPI

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday, March 25 announced it had closed the case against a lawyer Paul Gicheru in connection with the post-election violence in the country between 2007 and 2008.

The witness, P-0739 revealed they feared for their life because of the nature of the evidence they provided on the suspects mentioned during the three days they were in the witness box.

“I want direction about my situation because it came to my knowledge as from yesterday while testifying that my security is threatened based on what I have said,” the witness said.

Gicheru had been indicted by the ICC for alleged witness tampering in a case against the Deputy President, William Ruto.

Gicheru was accused of corruptly influencing witnesses who were set to testify by paying bribes and drawing up affidavits they used to withdraw their testimony to the court.

The suspension of the case comes a day after the defense lawyer depicted the witness as a liar who gave inconsistent testimony.

“You used facts and imaginations to come up with a perfect lie,” the defence lawyer told him.

During the cross-examination by Defence Counsel Suzana Tomanović, the witness said among the false information P-0739 gave the ICC investigators in 2010 and 2014 was that Ruto had recruited young men and armed them with guns.

In P-0739's statement to the investigators, the witness drew a sketch of the guns that he/she alleged were packed in cartons in Ruto’s house.

The witness had told the investigators that the weapons were transported to DP Ruto’s house in a pick-up vehicle owned by a person named in court documents as Person-56.

The witness admitted that they came up with the formula and idea of linking Dr Ruto with transportation and arming of youths because Person-56 owned a pick-up vehicle and was an associate of the DP.

Witness P-0739 was the prosecution’s eighth and final witness against Gicheru. The court is waiting for Gicheru to provide direction on April 25, on whether he will mount a defence.

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