, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – The Principal Secretary in the ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Mutea Iringo, said on Sunday he was considering taking legal action against Deputy President William Ruto’s defence counsel for dragging his name into allegations of procuring witnesses to ‘fix’ Ruto over the 2008 post election violence.
In a letter to Ruto’s lead lawyer Karim Khan, Iringo complained that the lawyers in the case at the International Criminal Court have been making reckless and false remarks targeted at harming his reputation.
“I wish to inform you that I shall be seeking legal advice as to the remedial avenues available to me in view of your team’s continued libelous attacks on my name integrity,” he noted.
Ruto’s lawyer Shymalla Alagendra on Friday alleged that Iringo, former minister Martha Karua and political adviser Nancy Gitau mobilised witnesses to testify at the Justice Philip Waki Commission Investigating Post Election Violence (CIPEV).
She also alleged that they were funding Waki witnesses and advised them to give evidence to fix Ruto
Iringo denied having ever been involved in the protection programme for witnesses who gave evidence before the Waki commission adding that he was not aware of even the groups that were recruiting and protecting them.
“I have never been part of the alleged witness protection scheme/programme which is supposed to have disbursed cash to those who would testify against the deputy president during the Waki Commission hearings or at any other times and I’m not aware of any group that was allegedly tasked with identifying witnesses to appear before the Waki commission,” he defended.
He regretted that there were attempts to tarnish his reputation by the defence counsel since it was not the first time that his name had been mentioned by the Ruto teams concerning witnesses testifying before Ruto.
“These false and reckless accusations are an attempt to damage my reputation and integrity and to cause uncalled for political emotions and tension. You are a respected and experienced Counsel and I expect that you should avoid playing to the gallery and engaging in political games for ulterior and sinister motives,” he said.
He explained that protection of witnesses in Kenya fall under the Attorney General’s office but not the interior docket
The 19th witness (P-0613) when asked if Gitau, Iringo and Karua gave money to support witnesses in the Waki commission said she thought the money was coming from the Commission on Human Rights.
“The monies that were being given to the witnesses in that protection programme was in fact coming from Nancy Gitau (who was then President Mwai Kibaki’s political advisor) and Mutea Iringo (at the time an under Secretary in the internal ministry), correct?” Alagendra posed.
In response the witness said; “I thought it was from Kenya National Human Rights Commission.”
Alegandra: “Did you hear that Karua also assisted witnesses to provide statements to the Waki commission?”
Witness: “no I didn’t.”
Alagendra further told the court that William Rono who was involved in recruiting potential ICC witnesses and also running the protection programme was a close friend of Iringo.
She said Rono also gave his evidence to the Waki commission.