, NAKURU, Kenya Sept 21 – Victims of the 2007/8 post election violence in Nakuru are now urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to support them get back to their normal lives, instead of spending too much money on witnesses who now recanting their evidence.
The victims who addressed a press conference in Nakuru on Sunday said they are worried that they may not get justice following confessions made in court by some of the witnesses who admitted having received huge amounts of money to give false testimony implicating Deputy President William Ruto.
Some of the witnesses have previously recanted evidence earlier given to the ICC against President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying they were paid to do so.
Seven years after the deadly violence sparked by a dispute in the presidential vote, some of the witnesses say the prosecution is spending too much on witnesses, instead of supporting them.
“We are disturbed that the ICC’s prosecutor has been paying millions of dollars to coached individuals to provide false testimony against President Kenyatta and his Deputy and therefore demand that instead of the prosecutor dishing out millions of dollars to pay fake witnesses, the ICC should give us the money so that we can improve on our lives,” they said in a joint statement, and demanded that “the ICC gives us money instead of using the money to bribe persons so as to give false testimony.”
Even those whose hopes relied on the ongoing cases at The Hague-based court, are now convinced that they may never get justice after all.
“ We are concerned that for the last 4 years, the ICC’s prosecutors have made us believe that they have evidence against President Kenyatta and thus given us a ray of hope in getting justice but now we have realized they have no evidence at all,” they said.
They also took issue with the recent demand requiring President Kenyatta to be present during a status conference scheduled for October 7 and 8.
The order was issued last week after the judges vacated the October 7 trial date, to enable parties and participants discuss emerging issues.
“We now demand that the ICC terminate the President’s case as they have already confessed in public that they all their witnesses have bolted out,” they said.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said the evidence she has cannot sustain a trial against President Kenyatta and now wants the government to offer her assistance in getting his financial statements. It remains unclear if the Head of State will attend the status conference.
Kenya’s Attorney General Githu Muigai has previously told the ICC judges that the prosecution has never been clear on what it requires.
“ As such, we demand that the prosecutor stops making sensational claims that they can only begin the trial when the government cooperates as they have already told the whole world that all their witnesses, 4, 11 and 12 have withdrawn their testimony as they are not interested in lying,” they said.
Human Rights lawyer Njenga Mwangi who also spoke at the press conference held at a Nakuru hotel said the ICC was not justified in summoning the President “because they have other avenues of getting the evidence they require.”
“It is humiliating for a democratically elected president of Kenya,” he said.