Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru has stated that he was not involved in the alleged bribery of witnesses in Deputy President, William Ruto and radio journalist, Joshua Sang’s International Criminal Court (ICC) case.
In his defence, Gicheru stated that he never offered witnesses Ksh20.4 million bribes as alleged by the ICC prosecution.
He argued that the evidence provided by the prosecutors was obtained from unreliable witnesses and untestable hearsay.
Gicheru further stated that the evidence produced in court does not directly or indirectly link him to witness interference.
Gicheru also criticised Justice Alapini-Gansou, for using the prosecution’s side of the story without considering glaring gaps in the witnesses’ testimonies.
“When all the reliably relevant facts are exposed to sunlight and given the space to breathe, and when the evidence is qualitatively assessed, individually and holistically, the inevitable conclusion the Trial Chamber will have to reach is that Mr Gicheru is not criminally responsible for the offences of corruptly influencing witnesses,” his lawyer Michael Karnavas stated.
His lawyers told the Trial Chamber III that the evidence provided to Gicheru by the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) did not support either the prosecution’s version of events or its legal conclusions.
Further, Gicheru’s team argued that the Pre-Trial Chamber’s (PTC) decision to confirm charges against Gicheru is not evidence.
They stated that no opinions should be formed, or conclusions drawn from the OTP’s representations in the trial brief or any claims made of lack of objections to the OTP’s story based on its version of the facts.
“The OTP trial brief contains no evidence which the Trial Chamber may or should rely on in making its findings of fact and conclusions of law,” Gicheru’s lawyers stated.
Gicheru surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) five years after an arrest warrant was issued by The Hague-based court in 2015.
The advocate was accused of obstruction of justice in the case against Deputy President William Ruto. Gicheru, alongside Philip Kipkoech Bett, was accused of tampering with ICC witnesses.
The two spent years in the Kenyan courts seeking to quash their extradition and it remains unclear what prompted Gicheru to surrender. He represented some of the witnesses in Ruto’s case who later recanted their statements.