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Ruto’s name mentioned 1000 times in Gicheru case at ICC

Ruto’s name mentioned 1000 times in Gicheru case at ICC

By Justus Karanja

With his name mentioned over 1000 times in the ongoing case against lawyer Paul Gicheru at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, there are high chances of Deputy President William Ruto being summoned and charged with witness interference.

Ruto’s name has featured over 1000 times as the big who financed Gicheru and others to hunt ICC witnesses and either bribe them to recant their testimonies.

Some of the witnesses like Meshack Yebei (pictured) were brutally murdered.

On Tuesday, another witness told the court he was promised Ksh10 million and six acres of land to withdraw his testimony

"I was even coached on what to say in the letter of resignation as a prosecution witness and instructed on the person to hand it to after signing it. I did my part and handed the letter to the persons I was told,” he added.

The witness narrated that he was under the ICC protection programme and briefly left it to attend to matters at home when he was approached by other witnesses who advised him to withdraw from the case.

He recalled a visit by a person who was well known to him, and who was also on the list of witnesses against Ruto but had withdrawn and recanted his testimony.

“I had read in the newspaper that he withdrew and when he came to see me, he asked me if I could join him in another place where we could look for money. He told me I would get a good reward,” the witness told the court.

“They gave me a lawyer who they said would help me draft the resignation letter. I cannot exactly remember what I said in the letter since it was them who coached against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist, Joshua Arap Sang.

The witness, who was appearing before Trial Chamber III that is hearing a case against lawyer Paul Gicheru - who is accused of interfering with witnesses, told the court that one of the pieces of land he was to receive was to be fully developed for him.

He went ahead to state that he received Ksh2 million only, which was paid in instalments.

 However, the court heard that one of the people involved in the transactions had indicated that the witness had been paid Ksh4 million.

The witness noted that he neither received the six acres of land as promised nor did he get the developed piece of land despite recanting his evidence against the accused.

“We had a disagreement because the person claimed they paid me Ksh4 million but I was only paid Ksh2 million in four instalments," the witness told The Hague-based court.

He admitted that he wrote a letter to the ICC's Prosecutor stating that he was exiting from a list of witnesses against Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

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