, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – One of the witnesses that Walter Barasa is accused of bribing has dismissed the claim saying that the former journalist did not bribe him, but the International Criminal Court (ICC) forced him to sign an affidavit to fix him over the allegation.
Witness P0336, who has already withdrawn from the case, swore an affidavit on Tuesday saying he was surprised that the ICC had issued a warrant of arrest against Barasa on allegations that he was among the witnesses who the activist bribed to pull out of the prosecution list.
“I was surprised in early October 2013 by media reports indicating that the ICC had issued a warrant of arrest against the petitioner allegedly for interference with its witnesses including myself,” he said in the affidavit lodged at the High Court in Nairobi.
He joined two other former prosecution witnesses who swore affidavits on Tuesday to block Barasa from being extradited at The Hague on the basis that the ICC cannot give him justice.
P0336 explained that his withdrawal from the witness list was not influenced by Barasa but by the sort of treatment accorded to him by the court officials.
“I wish to categorically state that my withdrawal as a witness had absolutely nothing to do with the petitioner and it is false and malicious for ICC to assert the contrary,” the witness said.
He explained that he quit as an ICC witness after realising that his neighbours were opposed to the ICC as well as security concerns of his family.
Besides poking holes into the operations of the Office of The Prosecutor, P0336 further said that he quit over incompetence and betrayal of the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) that had failed to respect his rights.
“The manner in which ICC’s organs like the investigators, VWU and OTP have conducted their duties and operations have convinced me that nothing or nobody is too sacred or precious to them when it comes to achieving the pre-determined ends namely to make an example out of Kenya,” the witness deemed.
According to the witness, his problems with the ICC started while he was in exile in Uganda when Barasa visited him and told him that peace had returned and that it was safe for him to return home.
A day after Barasa travelled back to Kenya, ICC investigators showed him photographs and a video recording of the meeting he had with Barasa in which they accused the former journalist of making attempts to bribe him.
“The said recording contained nothing to show that Barasa was coercing me or influencing me to cease being a Prosecution Witness. I was naturally taken aback by the spectre of spying whilst under protection of ICC and apparent invasion of my privacy and breach of trust on the part of the ICC. I was more surprised when the investigators informed me that the private conversation I had held with Barasa amounted to a criminal offense by both of us,” the witness alleged.
The witness, who claimed to have introduced Barasa to the prosecution, alleged that the investigators threatened to say that Barasa was bribing him, and in return no charges would be pressed against him.
“Sensing that the threat of prosecution against me had visibly frightened me, the ICC investigators told me that if I countersigned the information on the recording of my conversation with Barasa then no charges would be preferred against me. Under this duress, therefore, I agreed to sign the Statements prepared by the ICC investigators,” he explained.