ICC announces warrants against two Kenyans for corrupting witnesses


The International Criminal Court on Thursday made public arrest warrants against two Kenyan nationals for allegedly corruptly influencing witnesses in the East African country.

The warrants against Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech are the latest signs of possible witness tampering and obstruction that the international prosecutors say has dogged their attempts to operate in Kenya.

A prosecution spokeswoman said that the warrants are linked to the case against Kenyan deputy president William Ruto.

Ruto has been charged with crimes against humanity ogether with journalist Joshua Arap Sang for helping orchestrate a wav of deadly violence after Kenya’s contested 2007 presidential election that led to the deaths of 1,200 people. Both suspects however maintain their innocence.

The warrants of arrest against the two were issued in March but were kept secret from the public to ensure they did not attempt to flee, obstruct investigations or court proceedings and to prevent the further exercise of corruptly influencing the witnesses.

The men were arrested in Nairobi on July 30.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda separately said that she had completed presenting evidence against Ruto and Sang.

No date has yet been set for the defence to begin presenting its case.

Prosecutors withdrew charges of crimes against humanity levelled against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in December, saying they were unable to build their case because of witness tampering and obstruction by Kenyan authorities.