On Monday, November 2, 2020, Kenyans were caught by surprise on the news that fugitive lawyer Paul Gicheru had surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The lawyer is accused of interfering with witnesses in the crimes against humanity case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang.
According to sources, even his family was not aware of the lawyer’s travel to The Hague, and even his lawyer was not informed. It is said that his travel was cleared by the State House, and not everyone was aware of his travel.
Even authorities in the ICC were not aware of the surrender, and police in the Airport almost dismissed him when he said he was a wanted man in the ICC until authorities from the court came for him.
The lawyer holds crucial information and evidence against Ruto and Sang, and his surrender could revive their cases, which collapsed due to witness interference led by Gicheru.
In case the lawyer gives enough testimony to crucify Ruto, this could deflate his 2022 dream to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
It has been observed that since Gicheru surrendered, Ruto has gone silent on matters politics, even as the state also remains silent.
Ruto has been an ardent critique of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report demanding some changes, but since the news broke out, he has remained mute.
Sources from the Ruto camp indicate that though he was awre that the case could be revived, he never took it serious, or maybe never expected it so soon. If only he knew, sources say that he would have tried to stop Gicheru from surrendering.
According to Katwa Kigen, Ruto’s lawyer during the ICC case, the surrender happened “without notice”.
“For DP Ruto and Mr Sang, the event of surrender of Mr Gicheru just happened. We had no notice,” he said.
Kigen said they will consult widely and decide on their next step once they establish the motive of Mr Gicheru’s surprise surrender.
“After issues of surrender and its context become clearer, we will consult and decide if and what we may need to do. Being so recent and yet to unfold, they (Dr Ruto and Mr Sang) will in the course of time apply their minds to it, consult and then take a position,”Kigen told Sunday Nation.
Ruto and Kigen will however have to wait until March 15, 2020, when Gicheru submits his written testimony on his case, which has already gone through the pre-trial stage.
It is intimated that the lawyer is keen on hastening his trial, and has succeeded in convincing the court to separate his case from his co-accused Philip Kipkoech Bett.
“I similarly agree that we can separate the trials and this is for the basic reason that we do not know when the other accused person will surrender or be arrested,” he said.
If the ICC succeed in nailing Mr Gicheru, Ruto and Sang might have to face the ICC afresh, and this time could have slim chances of escaping.
Recently, Kahawa Tungu revealed that Mr Gicheru’s could be linked to the death of Mutula Kilonzo Snr, who was set to be a key witness in the ICC case.