Meshack Yebei, a neighbor to William Ruto in Eldoret whose mutilated body was found deep in the middle of Tsavo National Park in January 2015, where his killers probably hoped it would be eaten by wild animals after he disappeared on December 28, 2014, from Turbo town was slaughtered when he was about to testify in the ICC trial against the deputy president. This is according to the latest report from the Hague-based court.
Fresh documents from the Office of Kharim Khan, the Prosecutor, indicate Mr. Yebei was a very key member of the group known as Common Plan, a strategy group that worked on how to scuttle William Ruto’s crime against humanity case at the international court. The group was also instrumental in scheming how to bribe witnesses who had been lined up by former Prosecutor Ocampo against the DP.
According to the office the prosecutor, Lawyer Paul Gicheru who surrendered to the court in late 2020 admitted knowing and working together with the late Yebei to sabotage William Ruto’s case. Mr. Gicheru currently faces charges of witness interference.
“He admits that he knew and met Meshack Yebei – an alleged member of the Common Plan – at Gicheru’s office in Eldoret. He knew Ruto and Silas Simatwo – another alleged member of the charged Common Plan,” reads the document in part.
On January 6th, 2015 as DPP, Keriako Tobiko had issued a statement in which he said he had read media reports of the murder of Mr. Yebei, and that “pursuant to the provisions of Article 157(4) of the Constitution, I direct you to commence investigations with a view of bringing those responsible to justice”.
“Upon conclusion of the investigations, Mr Tobiko had ordered, “the inquiry findings should be submitted to me for perusal and appropriate action.”
A day before Mr. Tobiko sat down to write that letter, lawyer Karim Khan, the current ICC Prosecutor, and William Ruto’s lawyer back then, in a confidential letter to the head of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ndegwa Muhoro, confirmed that Mr. Yebei had been a defense witness in the ongoing case at the ICC, and asked for speedy investigations into the cause of his death.
On the morning of Sunday, December 28, 2014, when Ms. Lillian Yebei, who was then eight months pregnant, prepared her son, Shammah Kipkemboi to accompany her to the hospital for the last of her antenatal clinics, her husband Meshack told her that he would accompany them so that he could help as his wife engaged the physicians over their child’s nagging cold.
While at the Turbo Health Centre waiting to be attended to, their three-and-half-year-old son requested some water and seemed to be in pain.
Ms. Yebei sat patiently on a bench at the entrance of the clinic, holding little Shammah, and watched her husband hurry into a chemist nearby, come out, and walk off, probably to buy some water.
He did not return. The doctors attended to Mrs. Yebei and the child, and then the two proceeded home.
“We became worried when he did not return in the evening, but at some point we thought maybe he was attending to a small emergency,” his brother, Kennedy Yebei, said.
The next morning, at around 10:30 am, his mother received a text from a Ugandan number— +256733125351 — purportedly from her son. It was written in his Kalenjin dialect:
“Abwati ale ichamegei, kwawe Uganda urgently. Kimia k ng’amotik chebo Bensouda chekile Partrick ak Lugusa. Ami komye, mosich wasiwasi. Meshack, ako namba nenyu ni”, which translates to “I hope you are fine, I went urgently to Uganda. I am with Bensouda’s people named Partrick and Lugusa. I am alright, do not worry. Meshack, and this is my number.”
Yebei is said to have publicly stated that he received death threats prior to his disappearance and subsequent death under mysterious circumstances.