Of all the witnesses who failed to appear at the ICC to provide evidence of William Ruto’s crimes against humanity in the 2007/8 PEV, Paul Gicheru could have been the most dangerous which probably explains why he is dead today from poisoning in Kenya.
The trouble for Mr. Gicheru was that he was the henchman to find the witnesses ready to go to the Hague to provide evidence against suspect Ruto and his job was to get those witnesses out of the way by the suspect or offered huge sums of money to disappear and not go for the testimony.
The ICC prosecutors managed to track down Gicheru and he finally agreed to appear at the Hague beginning 2020 to defend himself against the witness interference charges. That he was employed by Ruto to get witnesses killed or sent out of the country.
There were a total of eight witnesses who testified that Paul Gicheru tracked them down and gave them money not to testify against Ruto. I am sure by that time the witnesses knew what the consequences would be if they did not agree with Ruto’s offer through Mr. Gicheru.
The strangest thing in the whole hearing is that Paul Gicheru refused to directly defend himself before the court and refused to talk to the court in his own defense. That matter is now before the ICC which had promised to provide a ruling by end of September 2022.
That is now too late for Ruto’s one-time buddy. He will have to witness the ruling from heaven if William can pray for him to get there.
The greatest danger for William Ruto, in this case, is that if the ICC was to find Paul Gicheru guilty and facing jail time the most likely response from him would be to agree to be a witness himself against William Ruto and provide information on all the crimes they had to commit to destroy the ICC case and to protect his employer at that time. He has the inside information in all Ruto’s dealings with ICC witnesses.
His evidence would be deadly, particularly for a guy who just made it to the presidency in Kenya.
Gicheru’s poisoning must have been a walk in the park for the experts who have slaughtered many Kenyans to protect themselves from the ICC cases. Some Kenyans are asking why the lawyer was in the country now, particularly under the circumstances.
That to me is irrelevant. He was at home and someone is trying to kill him through food. How the heck do you defend yourself against that?
Here are the details of Gicheru’s death from the media.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru who was a suspect at the International Criminal Court is dead.
Gicheru was found dead in his Karen home on Monday night.
Police said that Gicheru was found dead after an alleged poisoning.
“He had late lunch and felt unwell and went to bed but he did not wake up,” police said.
Police said he was found unresponsive at about 7 pm but did not know the cause of death.
“His son too collapsed and was taken to Karen hospital in stable condition,” police added.
Gicheru surrendered to the ICC on November 2, 2020, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on March 10, 2015, by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC.
The Kenyan lawyer was accused of offences against the administration of justice by corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.
He allegedly bribed witnesses to either recant their testimonies or refuse to testify in the crimes against humanity case that faced President William Ruto and former journalist Joshua Sang.
Cases against the two were officially terminated in April 2016 after they were found to have no case to answer.
Gicheru’s trial opened on February 15, he however pleaded not guilty to all charges. Eight witnesses testified for the prosecution.
The office of the prosecutor completed its presentation of evidence on March 29. The defense announced on April 25, that it will not present any evidence.
In March 2015, a warrant of arrest was issued against Gicheru and another Kenyan Philip Kipkoech Bett for allegedly corrupting witnesses.
I am very sure that someone like Ruto is very mad that Uhuru even allowed this guy to go to the Hague. He should have been stopped if Ruto had his way and he probably believes that this is one of the ways Uhuru was trying to take him out.
Let me review the Ruto nightmare in this case in an article I wrote on January 22, 2022. I wrote this in relation to events that were happening at that time. I had no idea it would be so relevant today just before the ruling on Gicheru’s case at the ICC which should be on September 29, 2022.
The three ICC judges who have to make a ruling on the Paul Gacheru case have to navigate a very complicated legal landscape. The person they are just about to make a ruling about has been assassinated in his own country. If he is guilty of the charges before the court what does that mean?
And the pattern of elimination of witnesses in the William Ruto case at the ICC seems to be continuing. Should the ICC send investigators to Kenya to work with Kenyan law enforcement to ensure that the death of Mr. Paul Gacheru is not related to his ongoing case at the ICC? Yes, they should.
ICC Calling: Who slaughtered Meshack Yebei. Haloo! Haloo! He didn’t kill himself we know that.
By Adongo Ogony January 22, 2022
Now that we are in the business of Ruto and UDA writing letters to the ICC and an Kenyan active case going at the ICC as we speak maybe it is time to address issues like who killed the ICC witnesses in the 2007/8 PEV case.
The Yebei case is breaking wide open and it tells you we have some very vicious murderers in our country who are above the law now. For how long. That is the question.
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-a-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.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada