The International Criminal Court (ICC) has responded to a document that was shared widely on social media purporting to have been a witness statement from lawyer Paul Gicheru who surrendered 5 years after a warrant of arrest was issued against him.
Responding to a query, ICC Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah confirmed that the alleged witness statement was false and the ICC letterhead on the document was fabricated.
“The International Criminal Court is aware of an unsigned document, supposedly on official ICC letterhead, that is alleged to be a witness statement by Mr Paul Gicheru.
“This document is a fabrication. We urge caution to the media and public to be wary of any document purporting to originate from the ICC that is not issued through one of the ICC’s official platforms or confirmed by the court as being official,”the ICC Head of the Public Affairs Unit clarified.
The false document claimed that Gicheru had admitted to being used to scuttle his case by interfering with witnesses who had incriminating testimony against Deputy President William Ruto. It further alleged that Gicheru had confessed acting on behalf of the DP.
The in 2015, ICC accused the lawyer of trying to bribe six prosecution witnesses to recant their testimonies in the case.
After suspecting interference of witness statements, the prosecutors filed to be allowed to use pre-recorded testimonies.
Key witnesses represented by Gicheru recanted their statements, which prosecutors said was due to intimidation and bribery.
The ICC Trial Chamber V(A) in its decision of 19 August 2015, allowed the prosecution to use statements that had been recanted by some of the witnesses.
However, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided unanimously to reverse the decision.
The decision meant that prior recorded witness statements could not be used by prosecutors at the ICC.