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Muthaura team ‘shreds’ Ocampo’s evidence

THE HAGUE, Sept 24 – The defence team of Kenya’s Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura spent the whole day on Saturday trying to convince the world war crimes court heard at The Hague not to put their client to a full trial by dismissing Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo case as ‘hollow.’

Muthaura’s lead lawyer, Karim Kahn was the first to tear into Ocampos evidence followed by counsels Essa Faal and Ken Ogeto.

Kahn told the International Criminal Court that his client did not attend any meeting to plan retaliatory attacks against ODM supporters as alleged by the prosecution.

“On the contrary Muthaura was busy preparing for the swearing in,” he said.

Kahn said it did not matter to his client who will be President as Muthaura was not a politician and therefore could not benefit in keeping PNU in power.

He read testimonies from senior government officials including President Mwai Kibaki dismissing arguments that Muthaura planned Mungiki attacks on the day the president was sworn in.

“His Excellency says that 30th December 2007 was a very important day, the results of the presidential elections were announced that day and he was with me all afternoon and Muthaura remained with me until my swearing in at around 6pm,” Kahn said reading the statement from the President Kibaki.

He further affirmed that Muthaura had not been named in any report that documented post election violence including possible suspects.

Kahn urged the court to dismiss the case claiming Ocampo relied on fake witnesses.

“The evidence is filled with not only contradictions but lies, these are the points that make us say that this case should not proceed to trial but that we may need an inquiry to be done,” he said.

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“The prosecutions case cannot change like the Dutch weather he can’t (Ocampo) in one breadth say that the violence was spontaneous and in another day come to court tied in robes and ask the court to give him credibility and then say that it was planned in the most meticulous manner, he must be consistent because that is the minimum of a criminal trial,” said Kahn.

He further said Ocampo’s evidence was contradicting as he claims that King’ori Mwangi was in charge of police in Nairobi during the violence whereas he was serving in the same capacity at the Coast province.

“This witness talks about Joseph Kamau as CID director while one will pray that a reasonable prosecutor trying to discharge international duty would speak to these people to verify,” he said.

Kahn said Kamau retired as CID director in November 2006.

Counsel Essal Faal who quit Ocampo’s prosecution staff  to  join Muthaura’s defence team told the court that staff at Nariobi Members’ Club denied that a meeting attended by Muthaura and Uhuru took place at the establishment as claimed by Ocampo.

“Interview with the club manager and two other employees who were on duty on the day the meeting is said to have taken place have denied hosting such a meeting, “he said.

Faal also argued that Muthaura was a Meru who would barely speak Kikuyu and that it was not valid to assert that he addressed Mungiki attackers at State House Nairobi in the language.

He also dismissed assertions by the prosecution that Muthaura who was the head of civil service exercised powers over the police.

Faal  further said that the role of Muthaura in the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) was that of a facilitator and not that of implementing resolutions of the committee.

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He accused the prosecution of failing to understand government structure as Muthaura did not have alleged authority.

Counsel Ken Ogeto in his submissions said that Prosecutor Ocampo used ‘hollow evidence by individuals out to make money as witnesses.

“This case has not been properly investigated, the prosecution has just assembled a gang of thugs out to make money, selfish individuals, individuals who want to live a good life and these are the individuals they want you (judges) to rely on and confirm this case?” he posed.

The hearings will resume on Monday at 3.30pm Kenyan time with the Muthaura defence team expected to line up two witnesses to counter Ocampo’s evidence.


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