, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – Deputy President William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan on Tuesday alleged that Meshack Yebei had been threatened by an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution witness.
In a strongly worded press statement, Khan said the defence team learnt that the ICC Prosecution and the Victims Witness Unit (WVU) were aware that a prosecution witness threatened Yebei with abduction before his disappearance last month.
“The defence has recently learned that the prosecution was fully on notice, months before the alleged abduction and murder of Mr Yebei, that he had been threatened with abduction by one of the prosecution’s own witnesses,” he alleged.
Khan further said he had requested the ICC and the VWU to offer Yebei protection after he learnt that he had been threatened.
The lawyer regretted that the defence had lost a key witness describing the killing as a direct attack on Ruto.
“The attack on Mr Yebei was an attack on H.E. William Ruto and the fabric of justice itself. Whilst I have lost someone who I described to the court, many months ago, as a critical defence witness, I remain firmly of the view that no one will be able to prevent the truth from emerging in this case,” Khan said.
The lawyer lashed out at the prosecution for alleging that Yebei was linked to a scheme of corrupting prosecution witnesses yet he could not defend himself.
He further raised concerns over how a confidential letter he had sent to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was leaked to the media.
He said he had requested for an inquiry into how the confidential document ended up with the media.
Yebei’s mutilated body was discovered on December 28, along River Yala after he went missing a week earlier.
His family said Yebei was on his way to get his son’s medicine when he went missing a week before his body was discovered.
CID officers who went to Turbo to investigate his death are expected to submit a report with their findings.
DNA samples taken from his family were taken by the investigators as part of the probe.
Yebei’s burial was postponed to allow police to carry out further investigations.
The family has indicated that he is likely to be buried this Saturday.