ICC prosecutor to file charges against individuals who interfere with witnesses


ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a past court session. [Photo/Courtesy]

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she will not hesitate to open charges against individuals giving false evidence or interfering with ICC witnesses.

In a statement sent through the Courts Field Outreach Coordinator for Kenya and Uganda, Maria Kamara, Bensouda said the court takes very seriously any attempts of obstructing the course of justice in accordance to Article 70 of the Rome Statue.

“The office of the Prosecutor takes any such attempts to obstruct the course of justice very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible,” said Kamara.

“The prosecutor decides whether or not to prosecute individuals after carrying out a thorough assessment of all the evidence in the prosecution’s possession – the prosecution does not bring changes on any other basis.”

“The office of the prosecutor takes any such attempts to obstruct the course of justice very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible,” said Kamara.

Though Bensouda did not divulge any names, the timing of her statement coincides with new allegations by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria linking Cord leader Raila Odinga and Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua to the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Radio journalist Joshua Sang at the ICC.

In his utterances during a prayer rally for Ruto and Sang at Mt Elgon on Sunday, Kuria intimated that Raila and Nyong’o were responsible for the cases at the ICC.

Kuria said the on-going cases are just an outcome of a political witch-hunt by the two contestants for the 2007 elections, PNU and ODM.

We all know the violence experienced in 2007 came about because of political differences between PNU and ODM over the contested elections,” said Moses Kuria.

“Both ODM, led by their party leader Raila Odinga and Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong’o, and PNU, led by myself and Martha Karua, sent letters to the ICC with names of individuals suspected to be behind the violence.”

Kuria, however, said there was no truth in the matter, adding that their push to have members of the rival camp arrested over the violence was politically instigated.

His utterances elicited criticism from Raila Odinga, Nyong’o and Karua who dared Kuria to produce evidence or face court action.

Martha Karua has given Kuria 24 hours to apologise and withdraw his allegations, failure to which she will continue with legal action against him.

Raila, on his part, said that the prayers being held for the DP “are getting answered and his real enemies are giving themselves up without being cajoled or coerced”.

Nyong’o challenged Kuria to produce evidence linking him to the case against Ruto; which Kuria has obliged and responded by releasing a letter showing that Nyong’o, on behalf of ODM, led a push against deferring the case to a local tribunal.

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