, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 4 – A witness testifying in the case facing Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has alleged that he was bribed to give damning testimony against Ruto.
Testifying via video link from Kenya, the witness identified as P604 told trial attorney Anton Steynberg that he was offered a better life for him and his children abroad in April last year to testify against Ruto.
“She told me that it was good for me to join in giving that statement even if it is false, there is no problem. She told me that if I give out that statement and I am approved to be a witness, I will get many privileges – one she told me that my children are going to be given free education by the International Criminal Court. She told me that I will live a very comfortable life outside Kenya and in a country of my choice and that I can pursue my education while the ICC will be paying for me the school fees,” he told the Court on Thursday.
And although willing to reveal who the, “she,” was, he was advised against it by Steynberg.
He did however reveal that she had banked on his dislike of the Deputy President and economic constraints at the time. “She told me this is the only opportunity (and if) we don’t utilise this opportunity I don’t believe any other opportunity will come,” he said.
The witness also told the Court that the ICC investigators were aware that part of his testimony was false as they had helped him alter his diary of the events surrounding the 2008 post-election violence to corroborate his false statement.
“They told me that when coming, bring the diary so that we can fill to concur with the statement,” he testified, responding in the affirmative when Steynberg posed: “Did the investigators know that part of the information was false, according to you?”
The witness is one of the eight prosecution witnesses the Court had to compel to testify, and the prosecution applied for him to be declared hostile.
In a letter to the ICC President Sang Hyung Song in January, the African Union had called into question the use of NGO investigators by the Court to build its cases.