Kenya: ICC Claims ‘Mere Gossip’ Says Uhuru

| March 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Photo: The Star

DEPUTY Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday dismissed new claims by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that his defense attempted to bribe one of the witnesses as “untrue and mere gossip.’

He wondered why the prosecutor had not sought the court’s action against the witness, a statement issued by a London public relations firm who senior management have close links to the Liberal democrats in the UK, BTPAdvisers said.

Bensouda had on Wednesday claimed that Uhuru’s defense had used intermediaries to attempt to bribe Witness 4 in order to induce him not to testify against him.

Quoting Uhuru’s lawyer Stephen Kay, the London PR firm said the case against Uhuru was now based on two other witnesses – 11 and 12 – whose evidence was based on what they had been told by Witness 4 whose identity was disclosed several months ago as James Maina Kabutu. Neither the PR firm, Uhuru’s lawyers or Bensouda have referred to Kabutu by name but only refer to him as Witness No.4.

The statement by the PR firm describes the two witnesses as ‘extortionists who had attempted to secure money from the DPM’ before they were adopted as prosecution witnesses.

“Bensouda also has serious questions to answer as to why she insists on saying OTP-11 and OTP-12 can still be considered to provide evidence to confirm charges against Kenyatta, when these witnesses attempted to extort money from the Defence to testify in their favour, before their extortion demands were rebuffed and they became Prosecution witnesses funded by the witness protection scheme,” the statement said.

BTPadvisors’s managing partner is Mark Pusey who was the head of the UK Liberal Democrats’ national media intelligence unit during the 2010 elections. The company is also alleged to have created an internet ‘attack site’ for the government of Rwanda in to counter accusations that it had been involved in genocide.

Separately, Uhuru told CNN in an interview on Tuesday evening that he expected the case against him to collapse following revelations Bensouda wanted to return his co-accused, former head of the civil service Francis Muthaura’s case to the pre-trial stage.

“I believe that this case is built on a lot of gossip, this is a case that’s built on a lot of fabrication, and ultimately, I do believe that justice will be done and we will be proved innocent. Furthermore, I’m accused of being a partner to state violence.”

“Now, I was neither in government at the time. I was in no position. I had nothing to do in the administration of government at the time. So if (Mohammed) Hussein Ali is not there, as the Commissioner of Police, and (Francis) Muthaura’s case is being deferred… you know, I just leave it up to your imagination, how I can still be there?” Uhuru said.

His lawyer argued that the prosecution had over two years been in possession of a second contradictory statement issued by Kabutu but had instead gone ahead to use the first statement to gain confirmation of the charges against Uhuru.

Kay claims that the ICC pre-trial chamber decided to send Uhuru’s case to trial based on what the prosecution knew at the time was ‘fraudulent evidence.’

In her most recent filing, Bensouda admitted that the prosecution was wrong for failing to inform the Pre-Trial Chamber before it made its decision to confirm the charges against Uhuru, that Kabutu’s testimony could not be relied on due to inconsistencies.

Bensouda argues that she cannot refer Uhuru’s case back to the pre-trial because she had additional evidence from Witness 11 and 12 who Uhuru’s lawyers argue should also be dropped. Uhuru’s lawyers counter that they had presented the court with evidence that the two witnesses only had corroborative value as their testimony was based on what they were told by Kabutu.

“What is now beyond doubt is the confirmation decision was decided by the pre-trial chamber based upon the fraudulent evidence of OTP-4. The Defence evidence and case was wrongfully rejected because of that evidence. It is all there in the original Decision of the Judges, the Brief of the Prosecution and the Defence submissions. Read it for yourselves,” Kay said.

Kabutu spent much of his life in Mathare slums, is reported to have a member of Mungiki and also presented himself as a human rights campaigner allied with the Bunge la Mwananchi lobby group which he left in 2007 to set up his own group, Jukwaa la Katiba. He is also among those who testified before the Waki commission appointed by the Government to investigate the 2007 post election violence.

James Kioko who interacted with Kabuto at the Bunge la Mwananchi said Kabutu sprung into International limelight after he authored several articles about the extra judicial killings of suspected Mungiki members.

Kioko said Kabuto also presented his evidence to the ICC through a local human rights group which also organized and support his relocation first to Tanzania, then to Swaziland in 2011, Europe and eventually the US.

Culled from :Here

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