|Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the ICC|
By Alex Ndegwa
Mr Uhuru Kenyatta has lost a fresh bid to determine whether three witnesses whose testimony he discredited and believes secured confirmation of charges against him will testify during trial.
The International Criminal Court judges rejected the Deputy Prime Minister’s application to order the Prosecutor to confirm to his defence whether it would rely on witnesses coded 4, 11 and 12 at trial.
Uhuru suffered the latest setback as the countdown to the trial beckons in two weeks when the first submissions by the parties establishing undisputed facts of the case are due.
Uhuru has sought to brand witnesses 4, 11 and 12 as liars, claiming they initially attempted to extort money from him and only turned to the prosecution when he refused to bribe them.
However, the DPM who claims they tried to extort from him and went to ICC when he refused to yield, is free to table evidence, including visual, audio and written word to prove to the court that this actually true.
Trial Chamber V judges agreed with the prosecution that the request was an attempt to obtain information earlier than stipulated in the schedule for the trial due to start on April 11 next year.
Uhuru’s lawyer, Steven Kay, told judges during confirmation of charges hearing last September the prosecution anchored its case against Uhuru on what was claimed by the three protected witnesses. “However, two of them, numbers 11 and 12, were first interviewed by the defence team in 2011 and gave a fully exculpatory account to that now relied upon by the prosecution,” he said.
Kay then told Pre-Trial Chamber II judges their versions “utterly contradicts the account that they have tried to advance in this court”.
“Those protected witnesses, numbers 11 and 12, then attempted to extort money from my defence team and offered to pervert the course of justice, but they were thrown out of our offices,” he said.
Kay added: “In pursuit of money, which has been their sole motivation, they discovered the ICC prosecutor offered better packages than we did. So that is where they went to provide a lying and utterly false account.”