Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru is slated to make his first appearance at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday.
He will appear before Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Pre-Trial Chamber A at 4:00 pm (The Hague local time).
“During the initial appearance hearing, the judge will verify the identity of the suspect and the language in which he is able to follow the proceedings. He will be informed of the charges against him and of his rights under the ICC Rome Statute,” the ICC said in a statement.
“Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, this hearing will be held on a partially virtual basis. Mr. Gicheru will appear by video-link technology from the Court’s Detention Centre.”
Gicheru, who is suspected of offenses against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses, was transferred to the ICC detention after he voluntarily surrendered to the Dutch authorities on Monday.
Together with two other Kenyans Philip Kipkoech Bett and Walter Osapiri Barasa, Gicheru is believed to have bribed or attempted to bribe six key prosecution witnesses by offering them bribes and other inducements so that they could recant their evidence and withdraw as witnesses.
The withdrawal of the witnesses led to the collapse of the criminal cases against Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Arap Sang, who were being tried over the 2007/2008 post-election skirmishes that led to the death of at least 1,300 people and over 600,000 displaced.
The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II issued an arrest warrant against him on March 10th, 2015.