The initial appearance of lawyer Paul Gicheru has been scheduled for Friday at 4pm (The Hague local time) before Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, the ICC said on Thursday.
Gicheru was transferred to the ICC’s custody on Tuesday, after surrendering himself to the Dutch authorities the previous day for alleged offences against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.
During the initial appearance hearing, the judge will verify the identity of the suspect and the language in which he is able to follow the proceedings. He will be informed of the charges against him and of his rights under the ICC Rome Statute.
Due to the Covdi-19 restrictions, the hearing will be held on a partially virtual basis.
Gicheru will appear by video-link technology from the Court’s Detention Centre.
The Court, through the Registry services, submitted a cooperation request to the Dutch authorities for the arrest and surrender of Gicheru to the Court upon completion of the necessary national arrest proceedings.
The arrest warrant against Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett was issued under seal on 10 March 2015 and unsealed on 10 September 2015.
Philip Kipkoech Bett is not in ICC custody.
The case remains in the Pre-Trial stage, pending the suspects’ arrest or voluntary appearance before the Court. The ICC does not try individuals in their absence.
The court had issued a warrant of arrest warrants for three Kenyans — Walter Barasa, Gicheru and Phillip Bett — on charges of obstructing the course of justice.
This was after chaos erupted on December 31, 2007, after the announcement of Mwai Kibaki as the presidential poll winner in a race he closely contested with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
As a result, over 1,000 people were killed, 900 acts of rape and sexual violence documented, and approximately 350,000 people were displaced.
The Prosecutor alleges that there existed, from at least April 2013, a criminal scheme designed to systematically approach and corruptly influence witnesses of the Prosecutor through bribery and other methods of inducements in exchange for their withdrawal as prosecution witnesses and/or recantation of their prior statements to the Prosecutor.