ICC staffers, witnesses may have received bribes, sexual favours – DP Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto has written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) requesting for appointment of an independent prosecutor to probe witnesses, ICC staff and intermediaries who lied under oath in his flopped case.
In his submission, Ruto says that those found culpable of obstructing the administration of justice contrary to Article 70 of the Rome Statute should be charged with perjury.
Ruto argues that there is “sufficient evidence in the trial record and in the possession of the Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) and the Defence to provide reason to believe that the prosecution witnesses, among them witnesses P-0356, P-0409, P-0613 and P-0800 have deliberately given false testimony to this Chamber.”
He further argues that prosecution intermediaries (and witnesses) numbers P-0613 and P-0800 “tampered or interfered with the collection of evidence by the prosecution by identifying and coaching witnesses to give false information to the OTP during its investigations, which then formed the basis of its case against Ruto.”
“In addition, the Defence submits that OTP evidence gives reason to believe that ICC staff members may have engaged in sexual relations with witnesses and their families, been bribed by witnesses, and were party to the submission of false financial claims, breaches of protocols by witnesses, and obtaining pecuniary benefit from the false financial claims,” read Ruto’s submission in part.
“The Defence submits that such conduct may amount to offences under Article 70(1)(c) or
Article 70(1)(f) of the Statute. By encouraging, be it expressly or impliedly, and/or assisting OTP witnesses to defraud the ICC, these ICC staff members have fostered an environment in which defrauding and telling lies to the ICC was encouraged. The conduct of such staff members may also have brought the administration of justice into disrepute. These serious allegations merit independent investigation.”
Ruto says that his request is warranted because the prosecution has proved to be unwilling or unable to pursue investigations against its own witnesses and intermediaries where there is reason to believe that such individuals may have committed offences contrary to Article 70 of the Statute.
“The OTP’s failure to use Article 70 in a dispassionate manner is evident not only in this case but also in other cases before the Court.”
He added: “During the course of the trial against Mr. Ruto, the Defence has repeatedly alerted the OTP, both in court and at meetings, that there is reason to believe that certain of its witnesses may have committed offences against the administration of justice.”
Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang’s case was terminated on April 5th but declared the proceedings a mistrial due to a troubling incidence of witness interference and intolerable political meddling.
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