The International Criminal Court (ICC) has strongly warned those involved in the case of lawyer Paul Gichuru against persuading witnesses to give false evidence in the court.
Paul Gichuru is facing charges at the ICC for allegedly making some of the most trusted witnesses in the 2007 post-election violence case against Deputy President William Ruto, to withdraw from the case which resulted to lack of evidence.
In a directive to be used when Paul Gicheru's trial begins, the court ruled that any party involved in the case would be free to inform witnesses about what to expect, without directly instructing them on how to answer the questions they will be asked.
According to a statement attached to the directives issued by Judge Miatta Maria Samba who will hear the case of lawyer Paul Gicheru, when preparing a witness the lawyer must emphasize to the witness his or her responsibility to tell the truth, state the reasons for the preparation, give him or her the opportunity to review the evidence he or she has provided, and verify that the information is correct and whether any corrections need to be made.
During the trial of those who were allegedly involved in the post election ferocity, some of the defendants included the Deputy President Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang. Through their lawyers, they complained that the prosecution collaborated with civil society organizations in Kenya to train witnesses on how to give false evidence about the incidents of post-election violence in 2007.
Although the allegations were denied by the prosecution led by former prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo and later Fatou Bensouda, some witnesses later went to court claiming they were bribed by ICC agents to slander the accused.
However, the prosecution insisted that the witnesses who withdrew from the case were bribed with millions of money by the defendants' agents to keep them out of the case. Lawyer Paul Gicheru was one of the alleged agents. Other suspects in the plot to persuade witnesses to withdraw from the ICC especially in DP Ruto's case were Philip Kipkoech Bett and journalist Walter Barasa.
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