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ICC releases lawyer Paul Gicheru under tough conditions

By Mercy Asamba | February 1st 2021

Paul Gicheru when he appeared before the ICC via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre on November 6, 2020. [ICC]

The International Criminal Court has released lawyer Paul Gicheru, who was charged with corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court, from its custody.

Gicheru’s release follows Pre-Trial Chamber A’s decision on January 29, 2021, granting the lawyer interim release with conditions. The Chamber received Gicheru's request under the Provisions of Article 60(2) of the Rome Statute.

“Today, 1 February 2021, Paul Gicheru was released to Kenya with specific conditions restricting liberty, during the confirmation of charges proceedings against him at the ICC… Mr Gicheru is suspected of offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court,” ICC said in a statement on Monday.

The conditions restricting Gicheru's liberty include providing financial security of Sh1,000,000 to the ICC Registrar in the form of cash or bank order.

In the event, he is ordered to surrender himself by the Chamber, he is therefore required to do so “at the date, time, place, and in the manner ordered by the Chamber and shall remain in attendance until excused.”

Gicheru was also directed not to obstruct or endanger the investigation or the court proceedings as well as not to engage in any activities that are prohibited under article 70 of the Statute.

According to the court, the lawyer is not allowed to contact any of the Prosecutor's witnesses or victims in this case, except through counsel authorised to represent him before this Court.

The lawyer was further prohibited from making any public statements, social media post, or communicate with the media over the case.

He will reside in Kenya at a specific address for the duration of the proceedings when not present in the Netherlands for the purposes of court proceedings, unless otherwise authorised in advance by the Chamber.

“He shall provide the Registrar with copies of all passports, visas, identity documents, and any other travel documents issued to him; shall not travel internationally except to the extent permitted by the Chamber and shall inform the Registrar or his delegate, no later than seven days prior to any international travel,” the court stated.

The Court further ordered Gicheru to report once a week to the Registrar, his delegate, or other person on the date and time and in the manner to be determined by the Registrar, which may include the use of video conferencing technology.

The lawyer will also provide the Registrar with all mobile and other telephone numbers and ensure that at least one of his mobile telephone numbers remains active and with sufficient credit to be reachable at any time.

In the event that Gicheru fails to comply with any of the conditions restricting liberty specified, the Chamber may declare the financial security provided by Gicheru forfeit to the Court, issue a warrant of arrest and issue any other order it deems relevant in relation to a failure to comply with the conditions.

The arrest warrant against Gicheru was issued under seal on March 10, 2015 and unsealed on September 10, 2015.

He surrendered in The Netherlands and was surrendered to the ICC custody on November 3, 2020 and his first appearance before ICC took place on November 6, 2020.

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