ICC witness says Paul Gicheru promised him Sh2m for photo


Lawyer Paul Gicheru at the opening of his trial at the International Criminal Court on February 15, 2022 [ICC-CPI]

A witness has told the International Criminal Court that lawyer Paul Gicheru had allegedly promised a reward of Sh2 million to get her photograph. P-0613 who testified against Gicheru before ICC Chamber III Judge Maria Samba stated that after she recorded her statement over the 2007 post-election violence, a person told her that he had been promised the reward if he managed to get her photo to reveal her identity.

The witness revealed the information when she was being cross-examined by Gicheru’s lawyer Michael Karnavas.

“Someone told me that Gicheru was trying to get my photo and that he was offered a reward of Sh2 million if he succeeded. I believed him because at the time, I had issues with my security after I was put under witness protection,” she said.

She however told the court that she has no evidence that Gicheru promised the money for her photo, and that she believed the information based on security threats which made her go into witness protection.

Asked whether she had other photos in public documents which Gicheru could have accessed to reveal her identity, she admitted that they existed and it would still have been possible to get them from the National Registration Bureau.

She also admitted that she never met Gicheru, had a call from him or interacted with him in any way during the period in which the lawyer is accused of interfering with the witnesses who had been lined up by ICC to testify in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.  

“I only know him as a lawyer and that he represented one of the witnesses who withdrew from the case against Ruto. I however do not know him in person, I have never met him and he has never called me. I was just told that he was looking for my photo,” she said.

Asked if Kenya’s security agencies could have located her without having someone taking her photo, she  agreed it was possible and that the security agencies could have tapped her phone to know her location.

The witness told the court that at the height of the 2007 post-election violence, she was among a group of women who cooked and supplied food to ‘warriors’ who were killing people from another community at a place identified as Location 6 in Uasin Gishu.

She agreed to cook for the ‘warriors’ despite not being from that community because she feared for her life.

She said her neighbour who was from her community had been tortured and his properties destroyed.

She was however put to task over inconsistencies in her testimony which made the ICC, in 2011, to reject her as a key witness in the Ruto and Joshua Sang crimes against humanity case.

The hearing continues today.