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Reveal cause of Paul Gicheru's death to end speculation

Lawyer Paul Gicheru. [File, Standard]

Paul Gicheru was no ordinary Kenyan.

Mr Gicheru was a lawyer, a family man, but, more importantly, he made news for being a high-profile Kenyan who underwent trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged witness bribery and intimidation.

Mr Gicheru went through the process but died suddenly on Monday before the court could make public its judgment.

It is not surprising that the lawyer's death has raised public concern and suspicion, although his family is said to be reading no mischief in the demise.

Notably, the family has disputed social media claims that Gicheru was poisoned and said prior to his death, the lawyer was in a "stressful condition and was not himself". 

Further, the family lawyer John Khaminwa has revealed that Gicheru rarely ate food from outside his house and that he enjoyed a home-cooked meal, hence downplaying the ‘poisoning’ angle. By Monday, the family had not decided whether a postmortem would be conducted on Gicheru's body.

Be that as it may, it is important that this death be investigated to clear any shreds of doubt lingering in the minds of Kenyans. This is because there have been claims in the past of the mysterious killing of several ICC witnesses allegedly by suspects out to cover their bloody tracks.

Only a transparent process will end such speculation. Should the findings point to foul play, then the culprits must be brought to book. All life is precious. We must pull all stops to protect the sanctity of life.

But if Gicheru's is found to have been a natural death, his family should be given room to mourn the departed patriarch and to give him a befitting burial.

Of equal importance, the judges at the ICC should go ahead and publish their decision on Gicheru's case.

Gicheru's family and Kenyans at large would want to know the truth. The only way we can know whether Gicheru did what he is accused of having done is for the court pronounce itself on the matter.