, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The High Court has postponed the hearing of an application by Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku for a warrant of arrest against Walter Barasa, pending the outcome of an appeal seeking the inclusion of the former journalist in the proceedings.
The appeal will be heard on January 31.
The hearing on Barasa’s extradition to The Hague to face criminal charges had been set for Monday but was to exclude his lawyers.
In his application, he had described the ruling by the court as unconstitutional and stated that it would violate his rights.
“In any court proceedings, the question that is always asked is ‘Where is the accused person?’ and the reason for this is because according to the Constitution, his side must be heard. To disallow him from doing so would be a gross violation of his rights,” Kibe Mungai, Barasa’s lawyer argued.
He had further added that the ruling would compromise his contention that the International Crimes Act under which he is wanted by The Hague-based court is unconstitutional.
Barasa is accused of seeking to influence three prosecution witnesses to withdraw from the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang.
He had told the court that it was not proper for the government to commence proceedings under the International Crimes Act before notifying and furnishing him with the information and evidence upon which the ICC issued his arrest warrant.
In an application filed by his lawyer, he argued that the procedure set out in the Act in respect of arrest and surrender of persons to the ICC is fundamentally flawed and invalid under the country’s constitution.
Mungai submitted that the action by the Interior Cabinet Secretary to invoke sections of the law in respect to alleged offenses against the administration of justice had deprived and stripped Barasa of the right to protection of law and fair hearing.