ICC case: Bensouda seeks to analyze Gicheru’s phone

Jan, 19th 2021 – International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to retain Lawyer Paul Gicheru’s mobile phone, when he is on conditional release, stating that it may contain crucial evidence.

During submissions before the pre-trial chambers, Bensouda said the prosecution does not oppose the return of any other items. The prosecutor said, “The prosecution does not oppose the return of personal items seized upon Gicheru’s arrest, except for his mobile phone, which the prosecution requests be retained by the Registry pending further submissions by the parties and a determination by the chamber.”

Gicheru is however opposed to this new application, stating that Bensouda has not shown why her office would want to retain the gadget. Gicheru’s lawyer has stated that the proposal is an intrusion of privacy and terms it as an act to pin Gicheru. 

Bensouda said, “Given the urgency of the current request and the possibility that Gicheru may also wish to respond to such an application, the prosecution considers it preferable to set out its full arguments in relation to this request in a separate filing to which Gicheru can respond.”

She added, “In the meantime, the prosecution requests that this item is not yet returned to Gicheru but rather retained by the registry pending the resolution of the issue.”

Claims by his lawyer Michael Karvanas are that Bensouda was after information hoping to get evidence to pin to Gicheru.

Karvana in his reply said, “The Office of the Prosecutor offers no compelling facts or evidence warranting an intrusion. Unless it provides detailed information in support of its assertions, which may have been provided to the single judge confidentially and ex-parte the only reasonable conclusion is that the prosecution is engaging in a fishing expedition in the hopes of finding evidence to support the claimed offenses against Gicheru.”

Meanwhile, the ICC has written to Kihara Kariuki, Kenya’s Attorney General, requesting information on what happened before the Kenyan Court since the request for the arrest of both Philip Bett and Gicheru for witness tampering.

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