ICC grants lawyer Paul Gicheru week to reconsider stand on evidence

Lawyer Paul Gicheru at the opening of his trial at the ICC on February 15, 2022 [ICC-CPI]

The International Criminal Court has given lawyer Paul Gicheru until Thursday next week to indicate whether he wants to present evidence.

Alternatively, he can stick to his initial stand to rely on the testimonies presented by prosecution witnesses.

Trial Chamber III judge Maria Samba adjourned the case to Monday after hearing witness P-0738 in a private session. The witness was expected to elaborate on witness tampering — how they were identified, their location, and how they were contacted.

Gicheru initially said he would use the testimonies and would not give an opening statement.

However, Justice Samba gave him a second chance to indicate whether he still needs to present witnesses and read his statement to counter the allegations presented by Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart.

The prosecution has so far called five witnesses to testify against the lawyer on his alleged role in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang.

Stewart said there is a possibility of bringing three more witnesses believed to have been among those who were influenced to recant their evidence. 

“The prosecution is currently reviewing the approximately 420 non-testimonial items already disclosed and recorded in its pre-confirmation list of evidence to determine more accurately which items of evidence it will seek to rely on at trial and the means by which they will be tendered into evidence," he said.

Meanwhile, Gicheru and Stewart clashed over audio recordings submitted as evidence that was secretly recorded. Gicheru says it is against his right to privacy and against the Rome Statute to present evidence acquired illegally.