The prosecution has lined up at least 12 witnesses in the witness tampering case against Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
Gicheru is set to stand trial after the court confirmed six charges against him in July this year. Pre-Trial Chamber A, composed of Judge Sophie Alapini-Gansou stated that there is sufficient evidence that the accused tampered with prosecution witnesses through bribery and corruption in the case against Kenya’s Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and Journalist Joshua Arap Sang.
The two were charged with instigating violence after a disputed 2007 election when 1,200 people lost their lives. The crimes against humanity case was vacated in 2016 for lack of sufficient evidence.
To prove the case, the prosecution says six Kenyans will take the stand and tell the court how they were corruptly influenced by the lawyer to recant their testimony in the case against the two.
The witnesses are P-0800, P-0536, P-0613, P-0341, P-0274, and P-0516.
Further, three investigators will also give their testimonies on how they investigated the case.
The prosecution will also present an analyst who will give context to the court. The prosecution, however, clarified that the witness will be produced from time to time as may be required.
Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart disclosed that the last batch of witnesses will be expert witnesses who will be two or three.
“At present, the prosecution plans to call approximately 12 to 13 witnesses to give oral testimony at trial. Apart from the three expert witnesses mentioned above, the prosecution does not foresee the need to call further expert evidence, nor to jointly brief experts with the defense,” Stewart disclosed in his latest court filing.
However, according to the prosecutor, there is a possibility of bringing three more witnesses they are currently investigating and are believed to have been among those who were influenced to recant their statements.
If the three take the stand then the number of witnesses will rise to 16.
In total, Stewart said, the prosecution requires 57 hours to present its evidence. This includes a direct examination of the witnesses it intends to call.
Gicheru, who maintains he is innocent, surrendered to the Dutch authorities on November 2, 2020, five years after the ICC issued an arrest warrant against him and his co-suspect, Philip Kipkoech Bett. The arrest warrant was issued in March 2015.
The court released the suspect to Kenya on February 1, 2021, with restrictive conditions on his liberty.