NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Two former prosecution witnesses in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and former radio presenter Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have now signed affidavits saying activist Walter Barasa should not be extradited to The Hague.
The two Simon Kipkolum Rotich and Samuel Kimeli Kosgei separately wrote to the High Court in Nairobi saying that Barasa should not be taken to The Hague-based court as demanded by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda because he will not get justice.
They claim that they suffered various injustices at the hands of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in the Netherlands where they had been taken ahead of the trial against Ruto and Sang.
Rotich explained that he was denied medication for HIV/Aids and even imprisoned while at The Hague after he changed his mind about appearing as a prosecution witness.
“I wish to reiterate that the experience and suffering my sons and I experienced in The Netherlands have convinced me beyond a shadow of doubt that there can be no justice for any African before any court in Europe,” he said.
He added that Kenya was a sovereign country and it had no basis surrendering any Kenyan for trial in Europe.
Rotich further hit out at the ICC saying he was convinced that “truth and justice are not part of the ICC Justice System which I consider it to be a terrible misfortune to our country.”
“I therefore urge this Honourable Court not to issue a warrant of arrest against Mr Barasa or otherwise allow his surrender to the ICC. I am convinced that Mr Barasa will definitely be subjected to oppression and injustice especially because ICC officials are clearly annoyed with him,” wrote Rotich.
“I deeply regret that I ever agreed to serve as a witness of the OTP which decision has ruined my family and corrupted justice in relation to the PEV.”
Kosgei on his part also said that he believed that the ICC would not accord Barasa a fair hearing. He explained that the court mistreated him and his family after he pulled out of the prosecution case.
He added that he withdrew from the case because it was based on falsehoods which he did not want to be a part of.
“I therefore believe that a suspect such as Mr Barasa who appears to have provoked the wrath of the OTP will be subjected to untold suffering if this Honourable Court were to authorise his arrest and/or surrender to the ICC.”
The two maintained that the OTP had fabricated lies against Ruto and Sang and was forcing its witnesses to go with such accounts to as get monetary gain.
Prosecutor Bensouda has denied the claims and maintains that Barasa must be extradited to the Netherlands.
Barasa is wanted by the court for allegedly bribing two prosecution witnesses with up to Sh1.5 million and attempting to bribe a third witness.
He has denied these claims and is currently embroiled in a legal tussle at the High Court that he hopes will allow him to get a local trial.