Witness admits got cash from NGO that ‘fixed’ Ruto

January 27, 2014 2:24 pm
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The witness admitted to receiving the monies between August 1 and August 2, 2012, about seven months after charges against the two were confirmed/FILE
The witness admitted to receiving the monies between August 1 and August 2, 2012, about seven months after charges against the two were confirmed/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Controversies that have dogged the International Criminal Court case against Deputy President William Ruto and former Kass FM broadcaster Joshua arap Sang have once again taken centre stage with the 9th prosecution witness admitting to receiving more than Sh500,000 from a US funded NGO which is alleged to have been recruiting witnesses for the case.

The witness admitted to receiving the monies between August 1 and August 2, 2012, about seven months after charges against the two were confirmed.

Witness P0356 also admitted to getting more than Sh1.7 million within a span of six months from the Office of the Prosecutor for his upkeep, raising concerns from the defence about his credibility.

Ruto’s lead lawyer Karim Khan: You received $3,367 (Sh289,393) on the 1st of August 2012. Isn’t that right?

Witness: Yes Your Honour.

Khan: And on the 2nd of August, the very next day, you received $3,524 (Sh302,887). Is that right?

Witness: Yes Your Honour.

Khan: And you had been earning less than Sh100,000 per year? Hadn’t you?

Witness: Yes Your Honour.

Khan: And receipt of this money is a major reason why you decided to get involved in this process. Isn’t that right?

Witness: No. I didn’t even know I’d be moving from one place to another.

But the defence did not relent in trying to quash the integrity of the witness to the case, further dragging the name of former US Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Rannerberger into the matter.

As a result, the United States’ role in Kenya Case I also became a highlight.

And although Khan accused the US of ‘fixing’ Ruto and gathering witnesses for the case, P0356 said he was not aware.

Khan: And then I asked you a supplementary question stating ‘Are you aware that Ambassador Rannerberger was trying to get individuals to give evidence against Ruto before the ICC. Do you remember that?

Witness: I remember Your Honour.

Khan: And you said you had no information effectively. Is that right?

Witness: Yes Your Honour.

Rannerberger is also said to have actively asked people in the North Rift not to support Ruto while the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is alleged to have been using proxy civil societies to get witnesses for the court.

Among these surrogate civil societies were two civil societies which the witness said he knew (Kalenjin Youth Alliance and the Good Samaritans International).

The witness however said that he was not aware that they were being used by USAID to get witnesses.

Khan: Are you aware that the organisations that you said you know get funding from USAID?

Witness: No.

The witness also told the court that he did not know anyone who was paid to incriminate Ruto.

According to Khan these individuals – Abubakar Juma, Ken Wafula, Jonah Ruto, George Bett, Thomas Ng’etich and three unnamed ones – were used by Rannerberger to incriminate Ruto.

Khan: Are you aware that people including Abubakar Juma, Ken Wafula, persons number 12, 13 and 15 knew completely well that the stories they were receiving from individuals regarding Mr William Ruto were false but they took those accounts because of money?

Witness: I am not aware.

Khan: And are you aware that these individuals, and please include yourself in this, put in exaggerated and false claims in Kenya with these organisations claiming huge amounts of money for rent, school fees and allowances and they were paid simply because the story they gave was one that was in demand by USAID and other organisations?

Witness: I am not aware.

Khan: Let us go into a private session for a moment.

Monday’s sessions was also characterised by lengthy private sessions, which were meant to protect the witness.

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