Give ICC wanted Barasa protection – court

October 9, 2013 1:15 pm
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Walter Barasa confers with his lawyer Kibe Mungai at the Milimani Law Courts/MIKE KARIUKI
Walter Barasa confers with his lawyer Kibe Mungai at the Milimani Law Courts/MIKE KARIUKI

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – The High Court in Nairobi has directed the Inspector General of Police to provide State security to ex-journalist Walter Barasa, who is currently being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Justice George Odunga said Barasa,41, must get all the necessary security arrangements to ensure that he is not ‘kidnapped’ and handed over to the ICC until an application he has filed locally challenging the charges is heard and determined.

“I am satisfied that the matter is urgent and raises grave issues. But for the court to determine whether the process started by the minister (Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku) is legal or not, I direct that the respondents be served immediately with the petition,” ruled Justice Odunga.

Barasa is wanted by The Hague-based court for allegedly trying to bribe three Prosecution witnesses in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.

He rushed to court on Tuesday to stop the pending arrest, and extradition.

He was also concerned with the manner in which the matter had been handled by Lenku, whom he accused of forwarding the ICC warrant to the Judiciary for implementation without furnishing him with the specifics of the order.

“The petitioner will be seeking to stop the process of him being handed over to the ICC by the High Court of Kenya since his rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution will be violated,” argued Barasa’s lawyer Kibe Mungai on Tuesday.

Attorney General Githu Muigai and Lenku are expected to make their responses on Thursday when the case will be heard. Barasa’s arrest warrant was issued in August, 2013, by ICC Judge Cuno Tarfusser before being unsealed on October 2.

The petitioner will be seeking to stop the process of him being handed over to the ICC by the High Court of Kenya since his rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution will be violated, argued Barasa’s lawyer Kibe Mungai on Tuesday.

Immediately it became public, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda demanded the extradition of the former journalist saying Kenya must obey its international obligations.

“There is evidence to suggest that Walter Barasa tried to bribe someone he thought was a Prosecution witness in the case against Mr Ruto. We expect Kenyan authorities to arrest Walter Barasa and hand him over to the court,” she said last week.

Barasa has already denied Bensouda’s accusations, saying that her office is trying to use the arrest order to settle personal scores.

The document from the ICC shows that P0536 was offered Sh1.4 million to withdraw her account while another witness only identified as P0336 was offered between Sh1 million and Sh1.5 million to pull out.

Barasa is also accused of organising a meeting where another witness, only identified as P0256, would be bribed in order to withdraw her account.

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