ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in the ICC
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday, November 4, welcomed the surrender of Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru and his transfer to the custody of the International Criminal Court.
In a statement, Bensouda stated that after Gicheru’s surrender, the court’s judicial proceedings would now follow in accordance with the requirements of the Rome Statute.
“I call on the Kenyan authorities to fulfil their obligations under the Rome Statute to ensure the surrender of the remaining two suspects to the custody of the Court, so that their guilt or innocence on the charges against them may be determined in a court of law,” read the statement.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru speaking during an Export Processing Zones Authority forum
The prosecutor urged the Government of Kenya to go after Gicheru’s co-accused Philip Kipkoech Bett and Walter Osapiri Barasa.
Bensouda added that she was grateful for the cooperation of all those who contributed to the successful detention of the lawyer.
Gicheru is expected to appear before the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II and will be without his lawyer John Khaminwa.
Khaminwa has written to the ICC requesting the court not to detain his client due to his health condition.
It is not quite clear what pushed the suspect to surrender 5 years after an arrest warrant was issued against him despite him having a medical condition and enjoying freedom in Kenya.
“On March 10, 2015, the judges issued a warrant of arrest for Gicheru. In their decision, they found that the evidence presented by my office established reasonable grounds to believe that Gicheru and Kipkoech were involved in an organized and systematic criminal scheme, aimed at approaching and corrupting six Prosecution witnesses, through bribes and other inducements, in exchange for withdrawing as witnesses and/or recanting their prior statements to the Prosecution.
“The integrity of witnesses is essential for the Court’s determination of the truth. Within its means and mandate, my office is committed to investigating and prosecuting individuals who attempt to pervert the course of justice by interfering with ICC witnesses,” Bensouda stated.
Gicheru’s wife stated that the decision to quietly fly to The Netherlands was reached by the family, adding that her husband was prepared to face his charges.
A report by the Nation indicated that the media house had planned an interview with the embattled lawyer but he left for The Hague before it came to fruition.
Gicheru had reportedly agreed to shed light on his life since a warrant of arrest was issued against him in 2015.
Lawyer John Khaminwa