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I was coached to fix Ruto and Sang so I could go abroad, witness says

Judge Miatta Maria Samba of Trial Chamber III at the opening of the trial in the Gicheru case at the ICC in The Hague (Netherlands) on 15 February 2022. [©ICC-CPI]

A witness at International Criminal Court (ICC) has admitted to being coached to fix Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang in exchange for a ticket out of Africa.

P-0516 testified that he was told what to tell ICC investigators to appear to be credible.

During the 15th day of the hearing, the witness said he knew that by making up stories that would please the ICC investigators, he was going to enjoy all the benefits he had been promised.

Although the witness said that he could not recall what he exactly told the investigators, he stated that he cooked information so that his family and him would leave the area.

He said he felt they were outcasts and ICC investigators did not go to the areas of skirmishes to verify the truth.

Each time lawyer Paul Gicheru’s lawyer Michael Karvanas asked him about the lies, he replied in Kiswahili, ndio (yes) and ni sawa (it is okay).

“That was a lie and I am sorry and it looks that we used fallacious means so that we could benefit from our lies,” he said.

 “Do you see that sir?” asked  Karvanas. “Yes I do,” he replied

“You were willing to have those two individuals charged because you would go abroad, your children would go to school and other benefits were to flow. As an unemployed and poor person, you felt you were going to get a better life... That was an opportunity to benefit from all the promises,” Karvanas continued.

The witness replied: “It is okay.”

The witness also admitted to lying about his residence and employment. He said he told investigators the wrong location to buttress his credibility.

At the same time, he told Trial Chamber II judge Maria Samba that he also lied about working for an organisation linked to a witness number six because it was working with the ICC.

He admitted that he never worked in that organisation. According to the witness, they would take information from newspapers, television and radio and customise it to fit their imagined scenarios.

The court heard that some of the scenes that the witness cooked included youths carrying machetes and spears, wearing vests and making noise.

He also admitted lying that his cow was taken by attackers. He said that this was because those involved in the 2007-2008 polls chaos also stole animals from victims.

“My cow was not taken; it was a lie,” said P-0516.