Fact Check: Gicheru’s ‘guilty’ video fake news

Lawyer Paul Gicheru pleaded not guilty. [Courtesy]

A fake video manipulated to show that lawyer Paul Gicheru pleaded guilty at The International Criminal Court has been doing rounds on Social media for the better part of the day.

Gicheru, while appearing before Judge Miatta Maria Samba, pleaded not guilty to offences against the administration of justice (Article 70(1)(c) of the Rome Statute) between April 2013 and the closure of the Ruto and Sang case on 10 September 2015, in Kenya.

The 36-second video that was manipulated to say that the lawyer had pleaded guilty to all the charges slows down just before he pronounces the word ‘guilty’. The slowing down is occasioned by the gap created when the word "not" is cut out to alter the meaning.

From the Standard's Digital assessment of the video using Google tools, the brain behind the manipulation used a technique called ‘deep fake’.

The technique makes videos where one person's face is convincingly replaced by a computer-generated face, which often resembles a second person.

In deep fakes, this means changing one person's face into another's, in ways a human editor might not think of or would be unable to detect.

Deep fakes are the easiest way to create a perception and spread fake news faster.

However, media houses have shared the original video from ICC, where the lawyer pleaded not guilty to all the charges, paving way for the hearing to begin.

The first witness has already testified and more are yet to take the stand on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and next Monday and Tuesday.