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Barasa, Gicheru and Bett may be sent to ICC over witness interference in Ruto, Sang cases

By Cyrus Ombati | April 7th 2016

Three suspects accused by ICC of tampering with witnesses will be extradited if and when procedures and legal requirements are met, the government of Kenya spokesman said on Thursday.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said due processes as provided for by international law and the Kenyan constitution must be followed.

Kiraithe added that rules of natural justice must apply before the three accused Walter Barasa, Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett are sent to the ICC.

"The question of just picking so and so and give so and so does not arise. There are judicial procedures that must be met before they are sent to the ICC," he said.

Kiraithe explained extradition of suspects involves a long process that has begun in the courts and that none expects the government to push the process.

He was reacting to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's demands that Kenya hands over the three for tampering with witnesses in the case of Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

While reacting to Tuesday's dropping of charges against Ruto and Sang, the prosecutor demanded immediate surrender of Barasa, Gicheru and Bett.

She blamed a 'perfect storm of witness interference and intense politicisation' of her case for its collapse.

Bensouda wants them in on charges of obstructing the course of justice in the case against Ruto and Sang.

"None of the three suspects, who have been charged by the court with obstructing the course of justice in this case, has yet been surrendered to the court by the Government of Kenya. I call on the authorities of the Republic of Kenya to fulfill their obligations under the Rome Statute and surrender these three suspects to the court without further delay," she said.

She said the hostile environment referenced in Tuesday's decision underscored the necessity for the Government of Kenya to surrender the three to the custody of the court.

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