ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has written to the Kenyan government with a request that they hand over two more suspects that are wanted at the Hague.
Fatou Bensouda is calling on the Kenyan Government to hand over Philip Kipkoech Bett and Walter Osapiri Barasa, who are accused of interfering with witnesses in the Kenyan cases at the Haque-based court.
“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,” Bensouda said in a statement released late Wednesday evening.
Using bribes and other inducements, in exchange for withdrawing as witnesses and/or recanting their prior statements to the Prosecution, Bensouda insists that her office established reasonable grounds to believe that the three were involved in an organized and systematic criminal scheme, aimed at approaching and corrupting six Prosecution witnesses.
“Interfering with the attendance or testimony of ICC witnesses, or retaliating against them are serious crimes under Article 70 of the Rome Statute.”She stated,
It has been five years since the ICC indicted Mr Walter Osapiri Barasa for witness interference in the cases linked to the 2007/08 post-election violence.
In 2018, Mr Barasa told the Sunday Nation that he had seen it all since ICC unsealed the warrant of his arrest for reportedly tampering with witnesses in the cases of Deputy President William Ruto and Mr Joshua Sang.
“Please, let me go to The Hague to clear my name. Following tribulations I have faced since I was indicted by the ICC, I feel the time has come for me to clear my name. I live in a psychological prison because some people think being seen with me or talking on the phone will put their lives in danger. The five years have been hell. I live from hand to mouth. Sometimes I am tempted to sell the little property I have in order to put food on the table. My children are no longer in school. ” Mr Barasa said in his statement.
His lawyers are Mr Kibe Mungai, Mr Katwa Kigen and Mr Waweru Gatonye said that neither I (Katwa Kigen) nor other advocates were aware of his wish to go public on the matter.