Jan, 20th 2021 – ICC judge Reine Alapini-Gansou has given Ms. Bensouda the green light to analyze lawyer Paul Gicheru’s possessions believed to have potentially incriminating evidence.
This development came on the backdrop of Mr. Gicheru’s efforts to convince the court to release him as the case proceeds since he is still in custody pending Kenya’s commitment of cooperation with the court.
On the 18th of Januay, Gicheru through his lawyer objected to the prosecutor’s request to have his personal belongings analyzed.
According to the Registry Report, the Dutch police handed a transparent plastic bag containing Gicheru’s personal belongings to the Registry Officer.
The prosecutor during the hearing said that there is fair reason to believe that there has existed a criminal scheme designed to carefully approach and corruptly influence witnesses through bribery and other methods since April 2013.
The judge said, “It remains the Prosecutor’s responsibility to conduct this analysis in accordance with the requirements arising from the Court’s legal texts and, if necessary, the Defence may raise any issue in connection with this matter in the subsequent stages of the proceedings.”
In his rule, the judge said, “When considered against the threshold of ‘reasonable grounds’, the items may be considered to have been used in, connected with, or to provide evidence of the offenses for which the Warrants of Arrest have been issued.”
He added, “The Chamber considers that it is not necessary to, as requested by the defense, order the prosecutor to provide further particulars and grant leave, to the defense, to file a supplemental submission.”
Bensouda rubbished Gicheru’s argument that the order would result in intrusion of privacy.
Mr. Gicheru had surrendered himself with the intention of clearing his name, but two months later, his luck continues to run out. He was transferred to the ICC after his surrender.
If the prosecutor finds new evidence, she can revive the cases. She would however need to restart all over again by seeking confirmation of the charges.
Gicheru’s surrender could lead to new charges against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua Sang a journalist. The court had issued an arrest warrant for Walter Barasa, Gicheru and Phillip Bett on the charges of obstructing justice.