Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru allegeldy promised Ksh2 million reward to get a photo of one of the witnesses in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang, it has emmerged.
Gicheru is accused of bribing and coercing witnesses to withdraw their statements in the duo’s crimes against humanity case at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.
Witness P-0613, while appearing before ICC Chamber III Judge Maria Samba, testified that after she recorded her statement on the 2007 post-election violence someone told her that he had been offered the money to get her photo.
Apparently, Gicheru wanted to know the identity of the witness.
“Someone told me that Gicheru was trying to get my photo and that he was offered a reward of Sh2 million if he succeeded,” she said.
The witness, who was being cross-examined by Gicheru’s lawyer Michael Karnavas, however, noted that she has no evidence to confirm the allegations.
The court heard that the witness believed the allegations based on security threats she faced at the time.
“I believed him because at the time, I had issues with my security after I was put under witness protection,” the witness added.
The witness further told the court that she never met the accused or interacted with him in any way during the trial of Ruto and Sang.
She also confirmed that the laywer didn’t reach out to her.
“I only know him as a lawyer and that he represented one of the witnesses who withdrew from the case against Ruto. I however do not know him in person, I have never met him and he has never called me. I was just told that he was looking for my photo,” she said.
On whether she had photos on public documents which the accused could have used to reveal her identity, the witness responsed in the affirmative.
She also noted that it would have been possible to get the photos from the National Registration Bureau.
The witness is among women who cooked for the ‘warriors’ said to have murdered innocent Kenyans from other communities at a place identified as Location 6 in Uasin Gishu County.
She told the court that she agreed to supply food to the men out of fear for her life.
Several other witnesses are set to testify in the ongoing trial at the ICC.
Gicheru, who maintains he is innocent, surrendered to the Dutch authorities on November 2, 2020, five years after the ICC issued an arrest warrant against him and his co-suspect, Philip Kipkoech Bett.
The arrest warrant was issued in March 2015.