ICC witness who recanted Ruto evidence speaks out

The witness OTP 8 claims he was coerced to testify against Ruto. PHOTO/File.

The witness OTP 8 claims he was coerced to testify against Ruto. PHOTO/File.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23- A key witness who recanted evidence he had earlier given against deputy president-elect William Ruto has revealed how the officials from the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) has been allegedly trying to get him stand by his testimony.

The Witness who is known as OTP 8 in case number 1 said officials from the ICC had made frantic efforts through telephone calls to have him stand with the evidence he had given.

“Despite my having instructed my lawyer that the ICC prosecutor or his officer should contact me through him, they have breached this and in the last 24 hours they have made concerted efforts to physically contact me without him knowing,” witness said in an interview Saturday.

“Since yesterday (Friday) I have received over 20 telephone calls from ICC officials who arrived in the country specifically to contact me and have me recant my sworn affidavits…All the calls I have been receiving from an ICC trial attorney (name withheld) who has been seeking to meet me over my decision to swear affidavits annulling the statements attributed to me,” the witness alleged, revealing that the callers had demanded that he meets them on Friday night in Nairobi.

He claimed that the office of the prosecutor had also written to his lawyer seeking to meet him between March 20 and March 22 concerning the affidavits he swore, but the advocate declined as he had no instructions from his client.

The witness said he stands by sworn affidavits he signed with his lawyer recanting the evidence in which he says was obtained from him through coercion. He claimed some parts of the evidence was falsified by officials at the prosecution office.

“At no time did I claim to have met or visited the homes of any of the accused yet the prosecutor included this claim in the alleged statement. It was also claimed that I attended several meetings where the accused were present such as the alleged meeting at the Molo milk plant which is a place I have never visited,” witness 8 insisted, alleging fears to his life due to the latest development.

The witness is among those who had been lined up to testify against Ruto who is facing crimes against humanity charges in The Hague alongside radio personality Joshua Arap Sang.

Earlier this week, the witness through his lawyer Paul Gicheru, asked the prosecution to withdraw him and his evidence he had given to the court.

“We inform you that our client has withdrawn each and every piece of evidence attributed to him and wishes to have his name removed from the list of the prosecution witnesses you intend to call against the accused persons in the first Kenyan case for the reasons set out in his affidavit,” Gicheru said in papers filed to the court dated February 19, 2013.

Trial Attorney Cynthia Tai has acknowledged receipt of the same affidavits.

In the affidavit, the witness claims that he testified after the ICC promised him and his family a better life. “As a result of this bitterness, I was induced and enticed to be a witness at the ICC on promise that I would be given accommodation for my family, allowances and other monetary inducements for myself.

I was promised that I would be rewarded and settled either in Europe, America or Australia if I testified before the ICC.”
Tai however denied that the Prosecution induced the witness to give evidence. “The Office of the Prosecutor rejects outright your client’s accusations that our office has been involved in inducing witnesses to provide false testimony, and many of the other statements contained therein.”

Tai has also warned the lawyer that his client would be subjected to a criminal proceeding if the allegations made against any court official are untrue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beloveddan Beloved King

    The government of Kenya as signatory to the ICC statute must aid the ICC to get this witness arrested and face charges of recanting the evidence. You cant swear your evidence and recant it for money. This is absolutely ridiculousness and a manifestation that in Kenya impunity is just too much. The suspects have been forcing the prosecutor to identify witnesses for them to corrupt, bribe them and frustrate the case. We know that the two accused suspects are among the wealthiest in the continent and can use their wealth to kill evidence whatsoever. The so called witness who recanted his evidence must be surrendered to the ICC to face criminal charges of giving false testimony. Furthermore he has accused ICC for forcing him to give false testimony evidence, as such he must be produced in the court for verification and inconvenience. This is to prove how useless it is to substitute ICC with our local courts. There will be no witness at all….

    • http://twitter.com/Mkursk Mkursk

      My friend it’s the other way round; he swore the evidence on inducements such as money and better life abroad and now is recanting it for the truth. Read the article once more

      • aluko

        The witness was a PNU operative – who induced him to testify against Ruto, who helped ODM whitewash PNU in R/Valley? Your guess is as good as mine.

        • DeMulato

          Not defending any side, but I don’t see why anyone in PNU would have liked to see Ruto in ICC. It doesn’t add value to them. Neither do I think any of Ruto’s supporters would have thought they’ll benefit in anyway by having Uhuru in ICC. We shouldn’t at the same time defend ICC like they don’t have the potential to lure anyone into testifying in the court. I believe, testimony is voluntary, if a person can’t for any reason, they simply can’t. After all I believe in a case of crime against humanity you should be having more than 100 witnesses to pick your best from.

      • chumbibye

        and how sure are you he is telling the truth now? if yes, why now? is it a case of the highest bidder or what…….

    • gida22ify

      Well said. Of course they have been bribed using stolen money from poor kenyans. AGREED the ICC should prosecute them for lying. What a joke! Looks like the PEV victims will never see justice because all witnesses might follow suit.

  • St. George

    What are we a hypocritical nation. A country preaching water and is always drinking wine. Why can’t we as a country be honest knowing that God is able to bring justice to the disobedient sooner or later. Why would one willfully swear with the bible to tell the truth and then trash it when it is convenient. I have a dream that one day all systems/ institutions will be governed by integrity and the God in heaving will bring the corrupt on their knees

    • benja

      wine is good for the soul

      • chumbibye

        it depends on the state of your soul for example you cant eat more food when you are already satisfied now, can you?

  • sufkim

    ICC is just another imperialist tool intended to whip African governments in line.Have they ever tried to prosecute leaders in other parts of the world that have committed crimes against humanity? The instigators of Iraq war, that was started on pretense of weapons of mass production stockpiles by Saddam?Think, how did we become members? By intimidation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.ngugi.77 Thomas Ngugi

      Why has the ICC not gone to Syria, Sakozi +Cameron whose forces killed many Libyans?

      • bobcat

        Bure kabisa. Pointless.

        • DeMulato

          Not pointless, the same point was repeated in UK House of Commons in that debate over their relationship with Kenya following election of Uhuru, by the UK parliamentarians themselves.

  • crossfire

    Maina Kiai and Omar Hassan are the ones who are liable for coaching witnesses for their own interest.

  • jdagoo24

    hahaha…atiriri… ni ndrama..ni khama vindeo… lets roll!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/seurei.bethwel Seurei Bethwel

      This witness went to several offices claiming to know what happen as early 2008feb before icc known by kenyans visit op ,police,human rights office he must tell the truth to the public must be arested if he was lying to fix anybody

  • MajorT

    If true that the ICC made an MOU promising monetary gain, the ICC is just a corrupt and inefficient court system there is. The monetary gain promise would definitely entice people to lie in order to suit their ends. It appears as if the evidence is merely hearsay.

  • kamau1947

    When a confessed liar tells you he is telling the truth how can you believe anything he says? What he says only suits the time and situation he finds himself in. Was he induced then or now, who knows?

  • lukati

    That man must be arrested for cheating

  • chumbibye

    whether this witness is honest or not let God be His judge. i just hope his conscience is clear on what he is doing, that is all that matters…i ve witnessed many a men writhing in pain on their death bed calling upon those they wronged in their hey days for forgiveness.

  • Natty Dread

    Bensouda is now begging the ICC court to allow her to postpone Uhuru’s case indefinitely. Perhaps she doesn’t have the stomach to face another session of false witnesses who did not quit in time.