The International Criminal Court (ICC) may revive the case against Deputy President William Ruto if the current information coming from the Hague is anything to go by.
Prosecutors handling the case of Eldoret-based lawyer Paul Gicheru who surrendered to the international crimes court in November last year say they have sufficient evidence linking the lawyer and DP Ruto to witness intimidation, tampering and in some cases pay-offs, some involving millions of shillings.
”The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber is convinced that between April 2013 and January 2014, Mr. Gicheru offered various witnesses (millions of shillings) in cash installments in exchange for withdrawing as Prosecution witnesses in the William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang case,” a document from the court reads in part.
Also mentioned alongside Lawyer Paul Gicheru as having aided in the tampering of witnesses in the case are William Ruto’s employee at Amaco Insurance, Mr. Silas Simatwo, a Mr. Maiyo, Mr. Bett, a Mr. Yebei, and journalist Walter Barasa.
Even though President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case was terminated in March 2013, his Deputy’s case was vacated, without prejudice to his prosecution afresh in the future. Prosecutors at the court argued Ruto had profited from the interference of witnesses, by the withdrawal of witnesses that the Chamber would have used in his case.
In Mr. Gicheru’s case currently before the Pre-Trial Chamber, Mr. Simatwo is said to be the one involved with the finances and making the pay-offs to witnesses, some of which ran to hundreds of thousands, others millions of shillings.
For example, Pre-Trial Chamber reveals Witness P-0341 was sent abroad. He was promised a car, a farm, a plot in town, and 5 million shillings on top of it. The Deputy President was elated the witness took the deal and rejected the ICC.
Another witness P-0397, who was very critical to the case was paid 1 million shillings after a visit by an individual the chambers has not revealed their identity yet, who told him there was a group of people working for the Deputy President was tasked to identify key ICC witnesses and offer them cash in exchange for their withdrawal from the case.
“(The Witness) told Mr. Gicheru that he was an ICC witness, to which Mr. Gicheru added that he had heard. Mr Gicheru asked P-0397 to assist him by withdrawing as a witness against Mr. Ruto. Mr. Gicheru told P-0397 that Mr. Ruto wanted P-0397 to identify other Prosecution witnesses and bring them to him (Mr. Gicheru),” the document reads.