ICC Prosecutor to produce 13 witnesses against Paul Gicheru

ICC said six witnesses will testify as to how they were corruptly influenced by the accused and his associates.

In Summary

•ICC said six witnesses will testify as to how they were corruptly influenced by the Accused and his associates.

•They are named P-0800, P-0536, P-0613, P-0341, P-0274 and P-0516;5. 

Paul Gicheru at the ICC hearing on November 6, 2020.
Paul Gicheru at the ICC hearing on November 6, 2020.
Image: Screen Grab

At least 13 witnesses are expected to testify against lawyer Paul Gicheru at the ICC to give oral testimony at trial.

The ICC said six witnesses will testify as to how they were corruptly influenced by the accused and his associates.

They are named P-0800, P-0536, P-0613, P-0341, P-0274 and P-0516;5. 

Up to three prosecution investigators will testify as to discrete aspects of the investigation.

“If necessary, an analyst who will testify inter alia as to the analysis of the content and If necessary, two to three expert witnesses, six who will testify as to the recovery of data obtained in the course of the prosecution’s investigations,”  ICC said.

Gicheru surrendered before the ICC last year following an arrest warrant issued by the Hague based court over allegations of witness interference in Deputy President William Ruto's case.

In his latest filing on September 14, the Deputy Prosecutor James Kirkpatrick Stewart is also presently investigating the possibility of interviewing and calling three witnesses who are believed to be relevant to the charges confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber.

“If successful, this would bring the total number of Prosecution witnesses to approximately 16,” Stewart said.

As regards the total number of hours required for the presentation of the Prosecution evidence, Stewart estimates that it would require a total of just over 57 hours.

"This is to allow the direct examination of the witnesses it intends to call," Stewart said.

Assuming a similar time is permitted for cross examination by the Defence, and making a limited provision for any necessary and permissible re-examination, this would bring the total duration of the Prosecution case to 122 hours, or approximately 27 court days.

However, prosecution says direct examination may be significantly reduced if they introduce into evidence the prior recorded testimony of certain witnesses.

“This is particularly appropriate for witnesses whose evidence would require them to recount details of numerous conversations and meetings – many of which do not involve the accused – the specifics of which would be difficult for the witness to recollect without recourse to contemporaneous records,” he said.

“In particular, the evidence of Witnesses P-0800, P-0613 and P-0536 and the investigators could be curtailed by approximately half to two thirds if their relevant prior recorded testimony were admitted.”

Stewart anticipates requesting the introduction of prior recorded testimony of certain witnesses under rule 68(3), as appropriate.

The Prosecution does not currently anticipate the need to request testimony by way of audio or video link and would prefer that the witnesses it intends to call testify in person at the seat of the Court.

“However, it does not rule out the possibility that certain witnesses may testify via audio or video link should their circumstances so require. Should this situation arise, the Prosecution will inform the Chamber accordingly,” Stewart said.

During the trial, the prosecution intends to use rely on a significant amount of documentary and other non-testimonial evidence.

This will comprise; Records of investigators’ communications with witnesses; Statements and records of communication between OTP investigators and Transcripts, translations and audio recordings of witnesses and members of the Common Plan.

“The Prosecution is currently reviewing the approximately 420 non-testimonial items already disclosed and recorded in its pre-confirmation list of evidence,”Stewart added.

Gicheru’s first pre-trial status conference has been scheduled for September 17.

The agenda includes typical issues of start date, number and type of witnesses, statements, experts, status of investigations and disclosure and translation.

According to the Order, all parties will have to provide submissions on the agenda by September 10.

Last month, the ICC confirmed charges against Gicheru, therefore committing him to trial.

According to the international court, the Chamber found that there are substantial grounds to believe that Gicheru committed, as a co-perpetrator, or under alternative modes of liability, offences against the administration of justice.

He is said to have committed the offences between April 2013 and the closure of the Ruto and Sang case on September 10, 2015, in Kenya.

According to the Court, the offences were allegedly committed in the furtherance of a common plan implemented by a group of persons including Gicheru, with the ultimate goal of undermining the Prosecution's case in the Ruto and Sang case.

Eight witnesses revealed that Gicheru, and other members of the common plan allegedly identified, located, and contacted the witnesses, offered and paid them financial or other benefits, and threatened them in order to induce them to withdraw as Prosecution witnesses.


Edited by CM

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