, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – President Uhuru Kenyatta now wants his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) stopped, arguing its integrity has been compromised by the Office of the Prosecutor and he no longer believes he will get a fair and just hearing.
The Head of State wrote to Trial Chamber V (b) Judges on Thursday expressing concern over three Prosecution witnesses, whom he accused of coercing and intimidating his own witnesses to drop out of his defence.
In his application to the court, the three witnesses only been identified as OTP-118, OTP-11 and OTP-12, have been accused of working in cahoots with the Prosecution to subvert justice.
He added that the evidence collected by his defence team, led by Counsels Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins, painted a grim picture over the manner in which the Prosecution had handled itself in the proceedings.
He maintained that the case against him by the Office of the Prosecutor bore no merit and time had come to stop it from continuing.
“The defence submits that to seek to continue to trial is capable of resulting in a serious miscarriage of justice. The current proceedings are now so irrevocably tainted by widespread illegal action that to allow justice to embark on its course would result in a gross violation of the rights of President Kenyatta,” argued Kay and Higgins.
In the 38-page suit, Kenyatta is demanding for an evidential hearing where these concerns will be raised and determined before he goes on trial on November 12.
He argued that that OTP-118 brought in 10 other Prosecution witnesses and even offered them bribes to ensure that they testified against him.
“On 4 April 2013, the defence was informed that [REDACTED], was acting as an intermediary and had introduced a number of Mungiki witnesses to the Prosecution. Five of these witnesses were: OTP-118, OTP-217, OTP-505, OTP-506, and OTP-510,” said Kenyatta in the application.
“The defence was also informed that [REDACTED] and OTP-118 jointly acted as intermediaries and introduced the following Mungiki witnesses to the Prosecution: OTP-219, OTP-428, OTP-429, OTP-430, OTP-493, and OTP-494.”
He added that the 10 witnesses had also been brought in after the confirmation of charges hearing and that their role in his trial would be an injustice.
Among the evidence collected by the President’s defence teams are phone recordings, which his lawyers say will substantiate these claims.
OTP-118 is also being accused of coaching witnesses, where Kenyatta’s lawyer observed that some of the written statements from the 10 witnesses appeared to have had a common author, which discredited them.
Kenyatta’s defence team had procured the services of a linguistic expert only identified as Dr Olsson who analysed the written statements and determined that they were penned by one author.
“Dr Olsson has professionally analysed several documents provided to the Prosecution by [REDACTED] and OTP-118 and his conclusions show that these documents have one common author,” said the suit.
Aside from being described as a dangerous criminal in the application, OTP-118 is also described as the kind of person ‘who would do anything just to get money’.
OTP-11 and OTP-12 are on the other hand being accused of interfering with Kenyatta’s collection of evidence in addition to attempting to swindle money from him so as to change their testimony against him.
OTP-12 is said to have at one pint sought to find out if Kenyatta would be willing to part with Sh200 million so that he could recant his account.
Kenyatta’s lawyers argue that OTP-11 and OTP-12 were willing to testify for either the Prosecution or the defence as long as they made money in the process.
“In a conversation with [REDACTED] on 25 September 2012, OTP-12 asks ‘how many millions would you like.’ An exchange then takes place in which the two individuals discuss how much OTP-12 should ask for and he concludes that five million is little but when I talk to them I will know how much to ask them for,” reads the application.
Kenyatta has all along maintained innocence over accusations that he participated in retaliatory meetings with the Mungiki at State House and even financed them to conduct atrocities against non Kikuyus at the height of the 2007/2008 post election violence.
He faces five counts which include murder, deportation, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts. The cases against former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and ex- Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, who had also been charged alongside Kenyatta, were dropped for lack of evidence.
The demands by the Kenyan Head of State come at a time when the African Union has called for an emergency meeting in Addis Ababa starting Friday to discuss the possibility of a mass African pull out from the ICC.
Kenyatta has been facing mounting pressure from various quarters that are pushing him not to attend the ICC trial.
Two human rights defenders have already gone to court seeking orders to bar him from attending the Hague trial.