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Lawyer Paul Gicheru asks ICC to push status conference date

By Kamau Muthoni | August 24th 2021
Lawyer Paul Gicheru during an interview with The Standard [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Lawyer Paul Gicheru has asked the International Criminal Court to postpone the first status conference.  

In his new court filings, Gicheru wants the conference that had been set for September 17, 2021, delayed by a week. His lawyer Michael Karnavas says that the day will clash with other schedules, hence, should be pushed to September 24. “Mr Paul Gicheru, through his counsel hereby requests to reschedule the first status conference set for September 17, 2021, to September 24, 2021. This request is made necessary because of a scheduling conflict,” he says.

According to Karvanas, the prosecution is not opposed to the one-week delay. On the status day, the Trial Chamber III judge Miatta Maria Samba will set the date for hearing the case. At the same time, the prosecution will disclose to the court the material evidence it will be submitting to the court.

It will also tell the judge whether there is a need for protecting witnesses, including the additional need for redactions, delayed disclosure, or referrals to the court’s witnesses.

On that day, the prosecution will also tell the court whether there are any active investigations.

The prosecution will also disclose witness identities that have not been disclosed to Gicheru yet.

Meanwhile, Gicheru will explain whether he intends to defend himself and will disclose the length of his opening statement.

Gicheru will know the number of witnesses to be called and the hours they will testify before the judge. He will also know if there is testimony to be provided by audio or video links, and an estimated volume of documentary or other non-testimonial evidence to be relied upon at trial.

Gicheru is also seeking information from Justice Maria on her employment in the office of the prosecutor.

He argues that she may have interacted with witnesses while she was in Uganda. “Presidency’s decision makes no mention of Judge Samba’s former employment with the OTP having been raised or considered,” Gicheru argues. Gicheru surrendered to ICC last year after an arrest warrant issued by The Hague-based court over claims of witness interference.

According to the prosecutor, one witness, P-0274, narrated that Gicheru informed them that they needed to reach and buy out everyone involved to stop assisting ICC.

He claimed that P-0274, alongside P-0341, attended the victims’ public meeting at the beginning of the Ruto and Sang case. 

He claims P-0341’s bank statements showed he received large installments of money. She adds that ICC investigators planned to meet this witness in 2014 but he declined, saying he was scared.

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