The International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday dropped the trial of attorney Paul Gicheru for allegedly bribing witnesses to testify against Deputy President William Ruto in connection with the 2007 post-election violence that killed 1,200 people came.
His lawyers and ICC prosecutors clashed over their counter-arguments at the end of the 19-month trial, in which Ruto was repeatedly mentioned. Trial Judge Miatta Maria Samba said the Chamber will consider the case and will announce its decision of conviction or acquittal within a reasonable time.
The prosecution, led by lead trial attorney Anton Steynberg, pushed for a conviction, but that Mr Gicheru’s defense team criticized the quality of the investigations and asked the court to acquit the alleged crime scene, although they have not been banned by the Kenyan government. In contrast to previous court sessions, when the visitors’ gallery was practically empty, the attendance at yesterday’s final hearing was very large.
In front of Trial Chamber III Judge Maria Samba, Mr Steynberg said that the against Evidence presented to Mr. Gicheru was not only consistent, but also corroborative and sufficient to obtain a conviction.
The prosecutor contended that Ruto was the sole and primary beneficiary of the witness interference program run by his associates, including Mr Gicheru, Mr Meshack Yebei – who was later kidnapped and killed – journalist Walter Barasa and Mr Phillip Bett were orchestrated.
Read: Why Kenya will not cooperate with the ICC in the case of Paul Gicheru
He gave Blame Mr. Gicheru and others for the termination of Ruto’s criminal case. Mr. Steynberg said Mr. Gicheru bore criminal responsibility for the collapsed trial as the interference resulted in a mass withdrawal of witnesses and a revocation of evidence.
The prosecutor alleged that Mr. Gicheru had financial witnesses during his tenure Benefits and promises of employment offered In some cases he reportedly used threats and intimidation. However, he admitted that some of the witnesses called against the DP had credibility issues.
“It is not denied that some witnesses had credibility issues and at one point told lies, even under oath. After all, this is corruption,” said Mr. Steynberg. Mr Karnavas said the evidence was obtained by “opportunists, scammers and confabulators”.
Mr Karnavas said the OTP’s investigation was “a textbook lesson on how not to conduct an unbiased, methodical and conscientious investigation” .
Read: ICC Prosecutors Close Case Against Attorney Paul Gicheru
“Alarmingly, the OTP anticipates that the Trial Chamber she finds the needles of truth – if any – hidden in the vast haystacks of lies from each witness, sifting through the testimonies inappropriately, giving preference to the most recent versions produced by countless and ever-evolving “clarifications”. he said of Defense Counsel.
He argued that the evidence presented against Mr. Gicheru – when considered holistically and objectively – would not reach the level of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
“OTP conducted an irreparably flawed investigation based on lies, hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations by Olympic-scale scammers, opportunists, con artists and confabulators,” said Mr. Karnavas.
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“Investigators could not understand the witnesses’ interconnectivity and propensity to share information with one another according to their own motives and objectives – fundraising and relocation from the ICC” , he added.
He said investigators were hesitant about witnesses relocating their places of residence in obtaining and recording their evidence.
“Witnesses who were known to they lied were questioned excessively in order to smooth out inconsistencies and improbabilities in their testimonies or to tailor them to the OTP’s case,” said Mr. Karnavas.
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