NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The mystery surrounding the fate of International Criminal Court (ICC) witness Meshack Yebei deepened Wednesday after tests showed the body at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret is not his.
Senior investigator John Kariuki said fingerprints of the body match that of a man from Kaimosi, which is about 30 kilometres away from Nandi.
“These fingerprints were found to be of one Yusuf Hussein, this made us to divert our investigations to Sirwa Posta at Kaimosi,” he explained.
According to the lead investigator, the team of detectives moved to Kaimosi in Western Kenya and located the family of Hussein which was not aware of his whereabouts.
“We found this person is known, he was born there, we were able to get the relatives, and they were not aware where he is; they thought that he is in Nairobi. When they contacted the other people (relatives) in Nairobi, they were told he is not there,” he said.
Kariuki said fingerprint tests confirmed that the body belonged to Hussein.
However, he explained that further DNA tests will give 100 percent confirmation of identity of the body and indicated that the results will be ready in a few days.
“We are also taking DNA sampling procedures so that we can come up with 100 percent who that person is, maybe by Friday or early next week,” he said. “But 60 percent through fingerprints it is showing it is Yusuf Hussein. This comprehensive investigation of identification it will be given by the DNA results.”
The Yebei family which claimed the body was that of their kin last week had indicated that it was not necessary to take DNA samples as they had positively identified him.
After holding a closed-door meeting at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret with the family of Yebei and that of Hussein, Kariuki confirmed that according to investigations done so far, the body did not belong to Yebei.
He said the database at the national registration bureau did not match those of Yebei.
“When we got the identity of Yebei, it did not match. The fingerprints do not belong to Yebei. The National Registration Bureau gives automatically whose fingerprints those are and these are the fingerprints which made me to go and look for this person in the ground. That’s how I came to find the family of Yusuf Hussein,” Kariuki said.
One of Yebei’s brothers said 14 family members had identified the body and were convinced it was that of Yebei.
Investigators are still on the ground trying to uncover the identity of the body discovered on River Yala on December 28.
The family of Yebei said that he went missing a week before the body was discovered.
Both the ICC prosecution and Deputy President William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan who have been engaged in counter accusations over the alleged death of Yebei urged for investigations after the body was discovered.
The prosecution said it had offered Yebei protection after he said his life was in danger.
Khan on Tuesday while reacting to the alleged death of Yebei said he had been threatened by an ICC prosecution witness.