International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Who Are the Witnesses in the Second Kenya Bribery Case at the ICC? – Part 2

This is the second instalment of a three-part series on the arrest warrant recently made public implicating a Kenyan lawyer and another Kenyan individual in connection with bribery allegations involving six prosecution witnesses. Given the context of these trials, this post assumes that the witnesses involved were witnesses in the Ruto and Sang trial. This part sketches the bribery allegations involving Witness 397 and Witness 536 as well as giving a summary of Witness 536’s testimony in court. Part 1 can be read here.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor alleges that Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru and fellow Kenyan Philip Kipkoech Bett bribed or tried to bribe six prosecution witnesses. Given the context of the case and overlapping witness pseudonyms, it … Continue Reading

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Who Are the Witnesses in the Second Kenya Bribery Case at the ICC? – Part 1

This is the first instalment of a three-part series on the arrest warrant recently made public implicating a Kenyan lawyer and another Kenyan individual in connection with bribery allegations involving six ICC prosecution witnesses. This first part looks at the details given in the arrest warrant issued under seal on March 10, 2015 and made public in September 2015.

The International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II has now issued two arrest warrants in connection with bribery allegations involving three Kenyan individuals and eight prosecution witnesses.

On September 10, 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II made public a redacted version of a second arrest warrant for witness tampering in Kenya. Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova made the decision to issue the warrant against lawyer Paul Gicheru and … Continue Reading

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Barasa Opens Second Challenge against ICC Arrest Warrant

Former Kenyan journalist Walter Osapiri Barasa has opened a second challenge against an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant issued in connection with bribery allegations involving witnesses in the case against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and another former journalist, Joshua arap Sang.

In an application filed on Friday, Barasa is asking Pre-Trial Chamber II to revoke the arrest warrant against him because, among other reasons, if he is detained by the ICC he is likely to be in detention longer than any possible sentence he may get if convicted. Barasa, through his lawyer Nicholas Kaufman, has asked the pre-trial chamber to issue him a summons instead of an arrest warrant. He has pledged to honour such summons because he does … Continue Reading

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ICC Admits Statements of Five Witnesses as Evidence Against Ruto and Sang

Trial judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have allowed statements of five witnesses who recanted them in court or failed to testify to be admitted as evidence against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Trial Chamber V(a), in redacted decisions made on Wednesday, declined to admit the statements of 11 other witnesses as evidence against Ruto and Sang. The prosecution had applied for the statements of as many as 16 witnesses to be admitted as evidence. The judges of Trial Chamber V(a), however, disagreed on which legal provision was applicable in reaching their decision to admit or not as evidence the statements the witnesses recorded with prosecution investigators.

Judges Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Robert Fremr issued … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Reverses Trial Chamber’s Decision to Not Refer Kenya to ASP

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has reversed the decision of Trial Chamber V(b) not to refer Kenya to the ICC’s membership for failure to comply with requests from the prosecution in its now-terminated case against President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

In a unanimous decision, the five-judge Appeals Chamber said on Wednesday that Trial Chamber V(b) contradicted itself in its December 3 decision, and in so doing, did not properly exercise its discretion on the matter. The Appeals Chamber said it would not make a decision on whether to refer the Kenyan government to the ICC’s membership, or the Assembly of State Parties as it is formally known. The chamber instead ordered that this issue return to Trial Chamber … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber to Decide whether to Refer Kenya to ICC Membership for Non-Cooperation

On Wednesday, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court will announce its decision on whether to refer Kenya to the ICC’s membership for not honoring its obligations and cooperating with the prosecution in the now terminated case against President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

This is the first time the Appeals Chamber is considering whether to refer a member of the ICC to the wider membership, or Assembly of State Parties (ASP) as it is formally known, for failing to cooperate following a request for such cooperation made under Article 93 of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding law.

The ICC has made referrals against other states in the past but for the more narrow issue of failing to execute arrest warrants. These … Continue Reading

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Ruto and Sang Lawyers Say Prosecution Needs to Prove Beyond Reasonable Doubt Allegations of Witness Interference

Defense lawyers have argued the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt allegations of witness bribery and intimidation before the International Criminal Court (ICC) can consider whether to admit some witness statements as evidence against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Lawyers for Ruto and Sang made the arguments during a status conference on Thursday. Trial Chamber V(a) convened the conference to hear submissions on a prosecution application requesting the judges to admit as evidence against Ruto and Sang statements by witnesses who failed to testify in court or were declared hostile by the trial chamber.

The prosecution wants the chamber to consider admitting the statements of as many as 16 witnesses because they were the target of “a scheme” … Continue Reading

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ICC Prosecutor Asks Court to Admit as Evidence Statements of Witnesses Who Recanted

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has applied to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the statements of witnesses who have since recanted them or refused to testify to be admitted as evidence against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang.

In the April 29 application, Bensouda asked Trial Chamber V(a) to admit the previously recorded statements of as many as 16 witnesses into the court’s record “for the truth of their contents.” She has asked the chamber to also consider admitting into evidence the transcripts of the witnesses’ recorded interviews and other related material. The prosecutor has argued that the reason these witnesses recanted their statements in court or refused to testify was because of “a scheme” to intimidate … Continue Reading

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Answers Needed in Eldoret

Elizabeth Evenson is a senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

John Kituyi, a veteran journalist and editor of the Kenyan Mirror Weekly newspaper, was murdered on April 30 as he walked home from work. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that unidentified assailants beat Kituyi severely. He later died in Eldoret Hospital.

Kituyi’s family, fellow journalists, and human rights activists in Eldoret have linked his killing to a recent article about the case against Deputy President William Ruto and the former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ruto and Sang are facing charges stemming from brutal … Continue Reading

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Kenyan President and Attorney General Make Contradictory Statements on ICC

President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has asked Parliament to act on resolutions it first made more than four years ago to cut ties with the International Criminal Court (ICC), signalling a hardening of his government’s position against the court.

Kenyatta made his request in March this year. However, just a month later Attorney General Githu Muigai sought to assure a symposium on international crimes that Kenya remained committed to the ICC.

The President’s request is in a report on how the government is implementing Kenya’s international obligations. He submitted the report to Parliament on March 26 together with the State of the Nation speech he delivered that day. The National Assembly has debated the speech, but there has not been a debate on … Continue Reading

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