Don’t blame Kenya for your incompetence, AG Muigai tells Bensouda

Don’t blame Kenya for your incompetence, AG Muigai tells Bensouda
Attorney-General Prof Githu Muigai. PHOTO/FILE

Attorney General (AG) Professor Githu Muigai has refuted claims that the Kenyan government refused to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) – allegations that were leveled by  ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda following the collapse of DP William Ruto and former Joshua arap Sang’s case.

Stating that the government submitted documents to the prosecutor’s office as late as two weeks ago, Muigai blamed the terminationof the Kenyan cases on incompetence – an issue that he said Kenya should not be blamed for.

Speaking to the media Saturday morning, Muigai said the government will follow the law in handling over the three Kenyan suspects wanted by the ICC over alleged witness tampering.

He said the 3 wanted Kenyans have been bonded by the courts and cannot be extradited until their court cases are over.

Muigai’s statement comes just two days after government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said that the government is not ready to surrender three Kenyan suspects wanted by the ICC over alleged witness tampering.

Speaking to the media at his office on Thursday, Kiraithe said the trio (Paul Gicheru, Philip Bett and Walter Barasa), who are alleged to have bribed witnesses under the ICC witness protection programme in the Ruto-Sang case, are currently facing extradition proceedings.

The government spokesman also said the three men will only be extradited to The Hague-based court in Netherlands after the all the legal procedures are met.

On Wednesday, Bensouda called for the arrest of the suspects on allegations of witness interference after the Ruto-Sang case collapsed due to witness tampering and political meddling.

Bensouda called on the Kenyan Government to fulfill its obligations under the Rome Statute by surrendering the three suspects to the Court without further delay.

“The witness interference and hostile environment referenced in Tuesday’s decision underscore the necessity for the Government of Kenya to honour its obligations and surrender these suspects to the custody of the Court,” said Bensouda in a statement.

According to Bensouda, the Government of Kenya should have been a critical ally and partner of the Office, since the case was about crimes committed against Kenyans, crimes defined and proscribed by a treaty ratified by the Government of Kenya.

“However, despite repeated assurances of cooperation with the Court, the Government of Kenya provided only selective assistance to the Prosecution.  The net result is that my Office did not have full access to documents and records that may have had probative value or been able to further shed light on the truth,” she said.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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