Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru will now stand trial over alleged witness tampering following the confirmation of his charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a statement posted on its website on Thursday, July 15, 2021, The ICC revealed that Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Pre-Trial Chamber A reached the decision after going through evidence and submissions presented by both the Prosecutor and the Defense team.
According to the court, lawyer Gicheru committed offences against the administration of justice in order to undermine the Prosecution’s case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
“Specifically, with relation to eight witnesses, Mr Gicheru and other members of the common plan allegedly identified, located, and contacted the witnesses, offered and/or paid them financial or other benefits, and/or threatened or intimidated them, in order to induce them to withdraw as Prosecution witnesses, refuse to or cease cooperating with the Prosecution and/or the Court, and/or to recant the evidence which they had provided to the Prosecution,” the statement read.
“The decision on the confirmation of the charges only serves to determine whether the Prosecutor’s case should proceed to trial. It does not establish the guilt of the accused person, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a trial chamber of the Court.”
The ICC issued an arrest warrant against lawyer Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett on March 10, 2015 for what it termed as “offences against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses.”
Lawyer Gicheru surrendered himself to the authorities in Netherlands on November 2, 2020, over five years after the arrest warrant was issued.