Ruto now takes war to KNCHR

November 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Eldoret North Member of Parliament William Ruto who arrived from The Hague on Monday is now accusing a commissioner at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) of doctoring evidence being used against him over the post-election violence.

Mr Ruto singled out Hassan Omar Hassan for allegedly paying and coaching witnesses who have since been given refuge out of the country, and are expected to testify before the International Criminal Court.

The suspended Minister who addressed a press conference at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday said he had evidence to show that all the witnesses lined up to testify at ICC were paid and promised better lives so that they could lie to the investigators.

“There are only six witnesses who have been flown out of the country and these are the witnesses who were identified, coached and paid a lot of money so that they can perpetuate lies to the ICC. They have now been made through the very able efforts of Mr Omar Hassan that these are the people who are being qualified to be witnesses for the ICC,” Mr Ruto.

“These witnesses were identified and paid well before the ICC investigations started. It is Mr Hassan Omar Hassan who is behind all these… he has paid them so that they can continue to give the lies they gave to the commission to the ICC,” he added.

He said: “I am asking these questions so that Omar Hassan can answer them. I am aware that he is the one who went to Eldoret and identified these witnesses whom he couched and paid.”

Pressed to give evidence to back his allegations against Mr Hassan, Ruto said:  “I have told you all that I know, if you want to know who the witnesses are, and when they were coached and paid, go and ask Mr Hassan he has the answers.”

When Capital News contacted Mr Hassan over claims levelled against him, he said: “I have heard about all those allegations and I will only respond to them after a meeting with other commissioners at the KNCHR.”

Mr Ruto told reporters he had decided to single out Mr Hassan “because he is the one behind all these witnesses who are perpetuating lies to spoil people’s lives.”

The suspended Higher Education Minister spoke out just a day after he returned from a trip to The Hague where he said he had gone to set the record straight with investigators of the International Criminal Court.

Asked why he appeared anxious, he responded by saying his conscience was clear.  “I am not worried at all. If I was a worried man I would not walk to The Hague by myself. I am very confident and in fact I sleep very comfortably.”

On Monday, Mr Ruto told reporters that his trip to the Netherlands was successful.  “I have a civic duty as a citizen to participate and sort out issues leading to the post election violence. I have an obligation to lead from the front when things are both good and bad,” he said.

“As part of that responsibility, I thought it was prudent to share with the investigators what I knew on the issues relating to the violence in our country,” he said of the 30-hour engagement with the ICC.

“Secondly, in the effort of making my contribution I thought it necessary that I bring information available to me to the investigators, like the Waki report , the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights report and to set the record straight,” he said.

“It was important for me to have a discussion with the investigators on this matter because some politicians and human rights people and some lawyers decided they were going to perpetuate the falsehoods in the Waki and human rights reports by manufacturing witnesses and using huge amounts of money,” he added.

Mr Ruto insisted that he was innocent against accusations that he may have been involved in the post election violence and claimed that his political enemies have coached and bribed witnesses to implicate him.

“Political mercenaries were used and witnesses were given money, promised life outside the country in the US and other foreign capitals if and when they continued to perpetuate the false hoods in these reports,” he said.


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