Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru has hired American attorney, Michael G Karnavas to defend him at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Gicheru is suspected of offenses against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses.
He is believed to have bribed or attempted to bribe six key prosecution witnesses by offering them bribes and other inducements so they could recant their evidence and withdraw as witnesses.
The withdrawal of the witnesses led to the collapse of the criminal cases against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang, who were being tried over the 2007/2008 post-election skirmishes in Kenya.
Gicheru surrendered himself to the Dutch authorities on November 2nd, five years after The Hague-based court issued a warrant of arrest against him.
On November 6th, the accused appeared before Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Pre-Trial Chamber A where he denied all the six charges leveled against him.
“I do not admit the false allegations leveled against me,” he said.
Gicheru had made a request to represent himself but the prosecution advised him to seek legal counsel instead.
Gicheru is said to have called the ICC’s Counsel Support Section this week and informed them that he had settled on US attorney Karnavas, who has over 33 years of experience in the legal field.
Karnavas, a Cleveland Marshall College of Law and George Washington graduate has represented high profile individuals accused of war crimes at the ICC for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
He was the lead counsel for Jadranko Prlic, then Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg Bosnia. Prlic was in 2013 sentenced to 25 years for his role in the Croat-Bosnian war.