The fourth witness in the trial of lawyer Paul Gicheru at the International Criminal Court in The Hague was yesterday taken to task over his alleged meeting with the latter.
Witness P-0274, claimed during his evidence that he was introduced to Gicheru by a close friend identified as Person 14, who was also an ICC witness in the trial of Deputy President William Ruto.
At the same time, he was questioned about another allegation that he, alongside another friend, sought to be enrolled as witnesses as a ticket to leave the country.
Gicheru’s lawyer Peter Karvanas questioned witness P-0274 on allegations by his friend, who was also an ICC witness, that they had planned to have Gicheru charged and get to the witness list in order to live abroad.
It emerged that the witness had even applied for a refugee status in a country the ICC had taken him to as a safe haven so he would not return to Kenya.
However, the witness’ friend denied introducing him to Gicheru.
P-0274’s friend instead spilled the beans, saying, they had planned to approach ICC investigators in a bid to secure a slot as witnesses.
The Trial Chamber II judge Maria Samba heard that that was a free ticket to live abroad.
According to Karvanas, P-0274 had asked the investigators that he should not be taken to any African country, instead, he wanted any other continent whose citizens speak English.
His friend, on the other hand, demanded that he, alongside 25 members of his family, be taken to Canada.
“We never discussed with the witness about leaving Kenya. The issues we discussed were about how to be safe,” P-0274 replied.
When the Karvanas pressed him on the alleged plot, the witness sought judge Samba’s intervention, saying it was unfair for his friend to talk about him to ICC investigators without being given a chance to rebut the claims. “Your honour, something is not being done right to me, he was given a chance to talk about…,” stated P-0274.
Justice Samba directed him to calm down and answer the questions being asked by the Karvanas.
Karvanas also asked him about another alleged plot to fix Gicheru in exchange for money. “I am surprised, eeh, he is lying,” the witness stated, adding that although his life and properties were destroyed during poll chaos, he never wanted to be an ICC witness.
At the same time, he was put to task over his emails and letters condemning the ICC prosecutor for rushed investigations on the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
P-0274 was asked why he had claimed that the ICC prosecutor was targeting Kenyan politicians. According to him, although then ICC prosecutor Moreno Ocampo had glued his eyes to alleged perpetrators, Kenyans were still being killed.
In the letter to the office of the prosecutor, he claimed the OTP’s actions had led to the victims being targeted, threatened, isolated and killed.
Justice Samba also heard that the witness then turned his guns to the court by stating that it was behaving like human trafficking groups.
In one of the emails, P-0274 claimed ICC would be held responsible for anything that would happen to him and his family.
He said: “All those emails that I wrote to the OTP and the letters being mentioned here, I wrote them when I was abandoned in the location where I was at that time,” he claimed.
P-0274 stated that he knew it was unsafe in any African country and wanted to be taken to another with persons speaking in English.
At the same time, the court heard that the witness and his family had applied for refugee status so that they do not return to Kenya.