Kenya through Attorney-General Paul Kihara has said it will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in lawyer Paul Gicheru’s case.
In a letter dated November 24th, AG Kihara told The Hague-based court that Gicheru disregarded a 2017 order by Kenya’s High Court, which quashed the arrest warrants issued against him and his co-accused Phillip Bett.
AG Kihara further told the presiding judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou that Gicheru went against the International Crimes Act that requires him to notify the High Court in Nairobi about his intention to surrender himself to the ICC.
Kenya’s refusal to cooperate with the international court may hinder Gicheru’s bid to be granted conditional release from ICC detention.
Kenya, however, indicated that it may review its position on the matter if lawyer Gicheru notifies the High Court of his decision to turn himself in.
“In view of the foregoing, and by dint of the existing High Court order as mentioned hereinabove, Kenya observes that it may not, at this point in time, be able to accord the court the assistance contemplated in Rule 119(1) of the Court’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, unless the said order is lifted or otherwise varied,” said IG Kihara.
Last month, the ICC sought the views of the Kenyan government on the request by lawyer Gicheru for conditional release from detention.
Gicheru requested to be freed from the ICC detention when he appeared before Judge Alapini-Gansou of Pre-Trial Chamber A on November 6th.
The court wanted the government to give certain undertakings to “enforce one or more conditions restricting liberty the Chamber could potentially impose.”
These conditions include barring Gicheru from traveling abroad without the explicit agreement of the Chamber, visiting certain places or associate with certain persons as specified by the Pre-Trial Chamber, contacting victims or witnesses directly or indirectly, engaging in certain professional activities, ensuring he resides at a particular address as specified by the Chamber, and honoring summons by an authority or a qualified person designated by the Chamber.
“In this regard, the Chamber specifically requests Kenya to provide observations as to its willingness and ability to facilitate the possibility of Mr. Gicheru traveling between Kenya and the Netherlands for the purposes of the proceedings in the present case,” the ICC said in its request to Kenya.
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.
Gicheru has hired American attorney, Michael G Karnavas to represent him in the case.