Witness admits he implicated Gicheru to get favours from ICC

Paul Gicheru at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, February 15, 2022. [File, Standard]

A witness against lawyer Paul Gicheru has apologised for lying to implicate him in order to get favours from the International Criminal Court.

P-0516 told the ICC trial court that his life was in danger after his friends started disappearing and that he had to cook up information to convince ICC investigators to admit him into their programme and offer him security.

“I apologise for making up the statements. It is because some of my friends at home were being killed and I was not sure who was killing them. I was confused since I knew people were following me and my life was in danger,” said the witness.

The witness admitted that when he approached the ICC investigators in 2015, his interest was to secure his security and that of his family even if it meant telling lies to implicate Mr Gicheru who is facing charges of witness interference at The Hague based court.

According to the witness, he had been recruited to the ICC in 2012 by another person to testify in the crimes against humanity charges against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang and that he would share what he was paid by the court.

He confirmed that he initially agreed to be part of the witnesses but when he failed to get the support and a promise of good life from the ICC, he withdrew from the case against Dr Ruto and returned to the country.

“It is true I told lies to be admitted in the ICC programme but when the circumstances changed I returned to the country until January 2015 when I contacted the office of the prosecutor because I felt my life was in danger,” he said.

P-0516 who was being cross-examined by Mr Gicheru’s lawyer Michael Karnavas told trial judge Maria Samba that he was given three options: whether he wanted ICC to help him, to be left on his own or for the government to offer him protection.

He testified that he chose the first option of getting ICC assistance which came with a condition to record a statement on the alleged witness interference by Mr Gicheru.

“Maybe if I had not taken that position I will not be alive today. My family had gone through a lot of turbulent moments and my children stopped going to school. I had to make up things to secure my life,” he said.

The hearing continues.