ICC allows Gicheru to appear in court virtually

Lawyer Paul Gicheru. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Lawyer Paul Gicheru got a major relief after the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that he does not need to appear physically in court during the last submissions of his case.

Trial judge Maria Samba ruled that Gicheru does not have to travel to The Hague on June 27 when the ICC prosecutors will square it out with his defence lawyers for the final round on whether he has a case to answer or not.

“The court takes into account the purpose of the hearing and the fact that there will be limited time in making closing submissions. The court allows his application to attend the hearings via video link and for his lawyers to make arrangements with the registry for his virtual presence,” ruled the judge.

Justice Samba, however, ruled that should the video link fail on the hearing date, Gicheru should inform the ICC registry immediately so that they can make arrangements for his physical attendance in the courtroom.

Gicheru is facing trial over allegations of bribing and interfering with witness during the crimes against humanity charges that faced Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang as a result of the 2007/08 post-election violence.

He returned to the country in April after spending more than a month at The Hague during which the ICC prosecution called eight witnesses to prove their case.

Upon closing the hearing, Justice Samba on May 12 issued a declaration on the closure of evidence and issued directions that the parties will be allowed one hour each to make their final submissions on June 27.

However, Gicheru, through his lawyer Michael Karnavas, filed an application on June 9 requesting to be allowed to attend the final hearings via video link on account that it will be unreasonable to compel him to travel to ICC for the session.