Witness: I lied about William Ruto, Joshua Sang to get Sh1 million International Criminal Court payment

Kenya: A witness has been paid about Sh1 million by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since mid-last year for his preparations to testify against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

Witness number 604 has received US$11,406 in cash from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and the Victims and Witness Prosecution Unit (VWPU) of the ICC, since  June last year.

The witness described the money as "fantastic" and "wonderful", saying it was the reason he agreed to make false statements against Ruto and Sang.

The money was to cater for his transport, food, communication and accommodation while waiting to give his testimony at The Hague. From the OTP he was paid Sh460,000 between December 2013 and April this year, the Trial Chamber V(a) heard.

In January he was paid Sh165,000 as subsistence, an amount he said he would ordinarily take two years to earn.

Security concerns

The defence said in April, he received Sh267,000 from the prosecution, according to documents disclosed by the prosecution, but the witness said he could not remember the actual figure.

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The witness, who was concluding his evidence, told the court yesterday that the money was paid to him in cash and he was not required to produce any receipts to account for it.

He was being cross-examined by Ruto's lawyer Essa Faal as he gave his evidence from Nairobi via a video link.

Defence: Were you surprised at the amount of money paid to you?

Witness: Yes.

Defence: Is this the money you described as fantastic and wonderful and which led you to tell lies against Mr Ruto?

Witness: Yes.

In September 2013, the witness was asked by the ICC officials to relocate to Nairobi from his home in the North Rift after raising security concerns.

The prosecution was expected to call the 23rd witness but said they were not ready.

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International Criminal Court ICC Hague William Ruto Joshua Sang