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Gicheru has been charged with offences against the administration of justice consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court in the case of in The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang (Main Case)/FILE

Kenya

ICC bribery accused provisionally freed in Kenya

The Hague, Netherlands, Feb 2 – A Kenyan lawyer accused of bribing witnesses in the failed International Criminal Court case against Deputy President William Ruto was released on Monday under strict conditions, the ICC said.

Paul Gicheru handed himself over to Dutch authorities in early November and was transferred to the Hague-based court where he appeared for the first time just a few days later.

He was freed in Kenya “with specific conditions restricting liberty during the confirmation of charges proceedings against him,” the ICC said.

Prosecutors say Gicheru “corruptly influenced” their witnesses to recant testimony by allegedly paying bribes of up to one million Kenyan shillings ($9,000 / 7,500 euros) and offering up to five million more.

Release conditions for Gicheru, who has denied the allegations, included security of one million shillings, providing copies of his passport, visas and identity documents and reporting to the court at least once a week via videolink.

He was also ordered to stay in Kenya at a specific address for the length of the case when not present at the Dutch-based court.

If he did not comply, the ICC said Gicheru could forfeit his financial security paid to the court and a warrant for his arrest may be issued.

Cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president Ruto over post-election violence in 2007-8 collapsed in 2014 and 2016.

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ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda blamed a relentless campaign of victim and witness intimidation for making a trial impossible.

Two other suspects who are still at large, Philip Bett and Walter Barasa, face similar charges, the ICC said.

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