Senior Trial Lawyer Anton Steynberg told the court that the witnesses told ICC investigators they were dealing with a big man who would reportedly give them millions of shillings if they withdrew from testifying in the Ruto case.
A recorded testimony by a witness concealed as P-0613 claimed that he was approached to stop supporting the ICC case against DP Ruto. The witness was told that there was a lawyer who was in charge of paying potential witnesses.
P-0613 further claimed that another witness P-0495 revealed that lawyer Gicheru was the one giving out the money and was working as a proxy for someone else.
According to a statement read by the trial lawyer, witness P-0495 alleged that there was a superior person whose identity was not revealed at that time.
“There is one who is superior, and I wasn’t told who that is. I was told it is not necessary to know that much. You will be sorted out here,” the trial lawyer read.
In count 4 against Gicheru, witness P-0800 told the court that a person labelled as P-0540 told them that the big man offered Ksh1.5 million and additional expenses if they joined the big man’s team and withdraw assistance to the ICC.
Steynberg told the court that the witness clarified that he and P-0540 used to refer to DP Ruto as the big man.
“P-0540 told me that the money to pay me and others was coming from Ruto and the money would be coming via Eldoret Lawyer Gicheru.
“P-0540 told me that Gicheru, Simotwo who I think is in charge at an insurance (name withheld) – which I think is owned by Ruto – and ex-ambassador Stephen Tarus are all working for Ruto trying to locate Kenyan witnesses.
“P-0540 told me he is working for Gicheru who is trying to locate witnesses within Kenya and nearby countries,” Steynberg read the witness statement to the Trial Chamber III.
Steynberg told the court that the witness was offered Ksh2 million ad make sure they get back the people that they had introduced to the ICC.
On February 15, 2022, the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Paul Gicheru opened before Judge Miatta Maria Samba of Trial Chamber III of the ICC.
Gicheru is accused of offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing witnesses regarding cases from the situation in Kenya.
The lawyer pleaded not guilty to all charges levelled against him.