We have strong case against Gicheru, ICC investigator states
An expert witness in the trial of Paul Gicheru at the International Criminal Court yesterday provided an overview on what led to a warrant of arrest against the lawyer for allegedly bribing witnesses in Deputy President William Ruto’s case.
P-0730, who is the sixth prosecution witness in the trial of Gicheru, said a warrant was issued against Gicheru, Philip Bett and journalist Walter Barasa after the investigators established strong evidence against them.
“The assessment of evidence indicated the evidence was strong enough to apply for an arrest warrant for them,” stated the witness who was the lead investigator in the case.
The OTP investigator told the court of the obstacles they faced while investigating the bribery claims saying there was a lack of cooperation from the Kenyan government.
“I had three main concerns. The first one was the level of cooperation from Kenyan authorities. The second one is the ability to access the crime scenes and the third one essentially comes down to dishonesty, differentiating between true and not true statements,” he told the court.
According to investigators, they were careful not to put the witnesses at risk by being in contact with them.
“The issue that arises is that for me to conduct certain inquiries, I need to involve Kenyan authorities in those inquiries. A simple example would be if I wanted to access telephone data for a witness or a suspect. To do that, I would send a request for assistance to the Kenyan authorities, asking them to provide me with that data but by making that request I will put somebody at risk because I will be identifying the witness,” he said.
“And why would the identification of the suspects, potential suspects, to the Kenyan authorities be an issue to the investigation,?” asked the prosecutor.
“I have an obligation to look at the safety of all the people I contact that includes suspects and in this particular case, suspects could come to risk” he replied.
According to him, witness P564 was found dead on December 3 2013 and the conclusion was that it was murder.
“Why would you believe that his death or his murder had anything to do with this case,?” the prosecutor asked.
“I believe he was involved in the interference with P-15. Who signed an affidavit recanting his ICC statement around the 8th of February 2013,” he said.
The witness further said they were recommended not to visit the Rift Valley region in 2013 because it was assessed to be risky.
“The area at that time was sympathetic to the suspect in the main case, Mr Ruto, Mr Sang and operating there and speaking to people there might result in the price of being against them,” he told the court.
Gicheru is facing eight counts relating to corruptly influencing witnesses regarding cases from the situation in Kenya.