ICC warns of witness coercion, bribery

November 17, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday said it was aware there were individuals trying to intimidate or bribe possible witnesses in the post-election violence probe.

In a statement presented before a media training workshop in Nairobi, the court said it had raised the matter with the Kenyan government.

"The office is also aware that there are individuals who are trying to intimidate or bribe possible witnesses and has accordingly informed Kenyan authorities weeks ago," ICC Public Information Unit Media Liaison Officer Nicola Fletcher who read the statement from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) said.

Ms Fletcher also said the two men who last week claimed that they were bribed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to give false evidence against Eldoret North MP William Ruto were never on the ICC witness list.

She said before interviewing a witness, the OTP carries out thorough check to test their credibility.

"The OTP would like to clarify that it is not relying on such testimonies. The persons who made these public statements did not provide testimony before the OTP and they are not going to be presented by the office as witnesses before the judges," she said.

She said the court would soon hold public discussions to sensitise Kenyans on the activities of the Office of the Prosecutor.

Once again the ICC assured Kenyans that those who bear the greatest responsibility in the 2008 post-election violence will face justice.

"Kenyans and in particular, those who suffered post election violence must remain confident that those who bear the greatest responsibility for the post election violence will face justice," Ms Fletcher said.

The Hague based court also promised that the investigations in Kenya will respect the victims, honour the Kenyan law and also guard the rights of the suspects.

In a video conference on Tuesday, ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo said he would indict six individuals by the end of the year, among them leaders from the two main political parties ODM and PNU, who used their communities to kill.

He said he was still collecting evidence to prove that the chaos witnessed in Kenya after the disputed 2007 General Election amounted to crimes against humanity.

The Prosecutor also urged Kenyans to work to ensure they resolved the underlying issues following the violence and be committed to prevent a recurrence of similar violence in future elections.


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