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Gicheru says ICC prosecutor's evidence is 'gossip'

By Kamau Muthoni | Dec 23rd 2021 | 2 min read

Lawyer Paul Gicheru during an interview with The Standard Group reporters at his office in Nairobi on February 04, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Lawyer Paul Gicheru has dismissed International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s evidence as gossip that cannot sustain a case against him.

In his new filings before ICC Trial Chamber III judge Maria Samba, the Kenyan lawyer argues the evidence presented before the court does not link him to witness tampering and bribery as claimed by the prosecutor.

According to him, ICC deputy prosecutor James Stewart is relying on witnesses who simply claim they heard or someone else told them.

“When all the reliably relevant facts are exposed to sunlight and given the space to breathe, and when the evidence is qualitatively assessed, individually and holistically, the inevitable conclusion the Trial Chamber will have to reach is that Mr Gicheru is not criminally responsible for the offences of corruptly influencing witnesses,” argues Gicheru’s lawyer Michael Karnavas.

Nevertheless, he argues none has proof that he was actively involved in tampering or bribing witnesses who were to testify against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang.

Gicheru asserts he is innocent. “Mr Gicheru categorically rejects and contests everything contained within the four corners of the decision on the confirmation of charges. He is not guilty of any of the confirmed charges,” Karvanas continues.

In July this year, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber set the next stage for the lawyer to stand trial over the alleged influencing of eight witnesses.

Gicheru is accused of tampering with witnesses P-0274, P-0341, P-0397, P-0495, P-0516, P-0536, P-0613 and P-0800. Justice Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou found the evidence produced by the prosecution supports the charges.

“The chambers hereby confirm charges against Mr Gicheru as articulated by the prosecutor in the DCC and to the extent that the chamber considers them sufficiently supported by evidence as follows and commits him for trial on these confirmed charges,” the judge ruled.

At the heart of the trial are witnesses who recanted their evidence against Ruto and Sang at the ICC on claims that they were offered kickbacks of between Sh500,000 and Sh2 million.

Gicheru now argues that in totality, the evidence produced in court does not directly or indirectly link him to witness interference.

While faulting Justice Alapini-Gansou, he asserts the judge adopted the prosecution’s narrative without considering glaring gaps in the witnesses’ testimonies. 

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