Nov 7, 2020 @ 10:21

Lawyer denies ICC bribery charges

© Agence France-Presse

A Kenyan lawyer denied accusations at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday of bribing witnesses in the failed case against Deputy President William Ruto.

Paul Gicheru was making his first appearance at the court since surrendering on Monday to Dutch authorities, who handed him over to the Hague-based tribunal.

“The allegations read out to me are not true, they are false,” said Gicheru, who was appearing by videolink from the court’s detention centre due to coronavirus rules.

Gicheru told the court that his surrender to the court “was a voluntary surrender, there was no threat, there was no coercion.”

Court officials read out charges against Gicheru of “corruptly influencing” witnesses for the prosecution to recant their testimony.

He allegedly paid bribes of up to one million Kenyan shillings ($9,200 / 7,700 euros) and offered up to five million more.

Cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president Ruto over post-election violence in 2007-8 collapsed in 2014 and 2016.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda blamed a relentless campaign of victim intimidation for making a trial impossible.

Bensouda called on Kenya Wednesday to hand over two other men suspected of interfering with prosecution witnesses.

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