MT ELGON, Kenya Sep 20 – Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has now confessed that he was involved in procuring witnesses in the ICC case against Deputy President William Ruto and is ready to testify in The Hague.
The controversial legislator, who spoke during prayers for the Deputy President in Mt Elgon, claims he did it together with NARC Kenya chairperson Martha Karua.
Karua was not immediately available for comment after her calls went unanswered. She did not also respond to a text message sent to her by this writer but lawyer Gitobu Imanyara later said he had been instructed to sue Kuria.
“Hon Martha Karua has instructed me as her lawyer to refute the baseless and malicious allegations of MP Moses Kuria on ICC witness procurement,” Imanyara tweeted, “Karua will sue Moses Kuria both in Kenya and at the ICC over this crude attempt to drag her in DP William Ruto’s woes at The Hague.”
“It was all about political competition and I am ready to testify in The Hague, because we did it,” Kuria said, “It was political competition and nothing else.”
Kuria has also implicated CORD leader Raila Odinga and Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o whom he wants to come out clean and confess how they allegedly schemed to fix Ruto in The Hague.
“It is now time we should all come out and go to The Hague to tell the judges the truth,” he said, amid prolonged applause from the crowd, “we should be man and woman enough and volunteer this information for the judges to understand that this case is just political.”
“I am ready to be the first one to go to The Hague, and Martha Karua, Anyang’ Nyong’o and Raila should follow to clear the air because we all know Ruto and Sang’ are innocent,” he said.
The revelation comes at a time when ICC judges have unsealed warrants for two Kenyans, including a lawyer—all accused of influencing witnesses.
He narrated to the gathering in Mt Elgon how they sourced for witnesses to testify against the Deputy President, opening up a new controversy on the cases–with Ruto himself and legislators loyal to him having earlier said he was fixed by unnamed people.
The two Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett were even arrested and presented before a High Court Judge in July before being released.
“The Pre-Trial Chamber II found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Philip Kipkoech Bett, also known as “Kipseng’erya” hailing from and residing in Kenya, and Paul Gicheru, a lawyer based in Kenya, are criminally responsible for offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing prosecution witnesses.”
The judges issued the warrants of arrest following the prosecution’s application on February 9, 2015 that the two and another individual were interfering with ICC witnesses.
Bensouda said Bett and Gicheru were criminally responsible on six counts for interfering with six witnesses of the court.
She detailed a scheme to demonstrate how the two interfered with the six witnesses and offered money to them and also entice them to inform other witnesses of the scheme.
According to the judges, she furnished the court with documentary evidence which included witness statements and correspondence between them and the witnesses.
Bensouda told the court that the two were part of a systematically designed scheme meant to approach and corrupt ICC witnesses by bribing and inducing them using other means to make them recant their evidence.
“The evidence indicates that the said scheme has been run in an organised manner and with a clear distribution of tasks.”
Gicheru was alleged to have been the manager and coordinator of the scheme in that he finalised agreements with witnesses who had been interfered with.
The prosecutor said he handled their withdrawal as witnesses and initiated their reward payments.
On the other hand, Bett’s role was to contact the witnesses and make proposals to them before introducing them to Gicheru who was the manager.
After corrupting witnesses, Gicheru and Bett are said to have used them to approach others.
A third Kenyan, Walter Barasa is still wanted by the ICC for influencing prosecution witnesses but he is yet to be extradited to The Hague to face charges after he contested the warrant in the Kenyan courts.
ICC judges have said Barasa had only one option, to appear before the ICC judges at The Hague, get detained then apply for interim release. According to the judges, Barasa, Bett and Gicheru operated a similar scheme of bribing witnesses to withdraw.