A witness who testified against Deputy President William Ruto and former journalist Joshua Sang at the Hague has been called by the International Criminal Court. The witness will testify for the prosecution in the case against lawyer Paul Gicheru, according to Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart. The trial for Gicheru is expected to begin on February 15, and the accused will be tried for witness tampering.
“Despite the prosecution’s use of all reasonable efforts at its disposal to locate or contact P-0723 to secure his voluntary attendance at the trial, he remained unreachable,” Stewart told the court.According to Stewart, the witness indicated his willingness to testify but cut off all communication. Judge Miatta Maria Samba issued an order on February 7 ordering the Witness to present for testimony via video link at the dates, times, and locations determined by the Prosecution.
“Requests the assistance of the witness’s country of residency, when necessary, in consultation with the court in guaranteeing the witness’s appearance,” she wrote. She directed that the witness be notified of his or her obligation to attend. Judge Miatta also directed the registrar, in cooperation with the Victims and Witnesses Unit, to provide suitable security arrangements for the witness.She further instructed the Registry to transmit this decision to the country of residence as well as the necessary cooperation request to the relevant authorities of the country of residence.
At least four important witnesses have dropped out at the last minute, even as Gicheru’s five-day trial is about to begin. The prosecution has obtained orders compelling at least one witness to testify in front of the court. Prosecutors have again informed the court that they intend to file a summons to compel a second witness to testify. In the case against DP Ruto and Radio Journalist Arap Sang, Gicheru faces six counts of witness tampering.
The ICC prosecutor has cited difficulties in summoning witnesses P-0604, P-0495, P-0743, and another whose identity has yet to be revealed. Witness P-0604, according to the court, declined to meet with ICC prosecutors and refused to give documentation supporting bribery allegations.
During a previous scheduled encounter, prosecutors were kept waiting at the agreed-upon location, and the witness has not responded to emails from the court.