ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda Asks Gov't to Surrender Two Other Kenyans to The Hague


ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has called on the Kenyan authorities to hand over two other Kenyan nationals wanted by The Hague-based court.

The two, Philip Kipkoech Bett and Walter Osapiri Barasa, are accused of interfering with witnesses in the Kenyan cases at the ICC.

Bensouda, who hailed the decision by lawyer Paul Gicheru to voluntarily surrender to the ICC on Monday, insisted that Gicheru acted alongside Bett and Barasa.

“I call on the Kenyan authorities to fulfill 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,” Bensouda said in a statement.

The three are 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.

“Interfering with the attendance or testimony of ICC witnesses, or retaliating against them are serious crimes under Article 70 of the Rome Statute,” Bensouda added.

The withdrawal of the cases led to the collapse of the criminal cases against Deputy President William Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang.

“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 noted.

The ICC issued warrants of arrest against the three in 2015.