NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 2 – A former journalist wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged witness bribery will have to go through a judicial process in Kenya, before a decision is made whether to extradite him to The Hague or not.
Attorney General Githu Muigai said Kenya is in receipt of the warrant for the arrest of Walter Barasa, which he said must now undergo clear procedures as set out under international law.
“The procedure for enforcing any warrant issued by the ICC against any individual in Kenya is subject to the very clear procedure set out under the International Crimes Act 2010. These procedures require the minister in charge of the Interior upon receipt of the formal warrant of arrest to present the said warrant to the Judiciary for enforcement,” he explained.
“During the judicial consideration of the legality of the warrant, the subject is entitled to make representations to the court. The final determination on the enforceability of the warrant is therefore a judicial one,” he asserted.
Even as the AG said the warrant of arrest will not be implemented immediately, ICC Prosecutor told a press conference at The Hague that the court expected Kenya “to immediately arrest Barasa and hand him over to the ICC.”
“We expect the Kenyan government to arrest and surrender Barasa to ICC without delay. I believe that sending this warrant to Kenya is an opportunity to demonstrate its co-operation which they say they have given to the ICC. It is an opportune moment for them to arrest Barasa and surrender him to the court,” she said.
According to Bensouda, Barasa was one of the many people the court is investigating in reference to bribery of prosecution witnesses.
She said investigations are still going on and once there is sufficient evidence, the court will disclose more suspects involved with witness tampering.
“Those people who do this go to great lengths to cover their identities, we may not know everybody now, but certainly its more than one person. It is a scheme that involves other persons. We have investigated and our investigations have led us to Barasa. We are bringing it on the basis that it was a crime that was committed,” she explained.
The ICC on Wednesday unsealed the arrest warrant and asked the government to arrest Barasa for witness bribery in the case against Deputy President William Ruto.
He is said to have offered bribes amounting to Sh1.5 million each, to two prosecution witnesses.
Barasa has denied any wrongdoing.