ICC judges issue warrants against two Kenyans for influencing witnesses

Reuters , Thursday 10 Sep 2015

The International Criminal Court on Thursday unsealed, or made public, arrest warrants against two Kenyan men on accusations of "corruptly influencing witnesses" in the east African nation.

The court did not clarify in which case Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett were suspected of trying to influence witnesses - a dismissed action against President Uhuru Kenyatta, or a suit still in process against his deputy William Ruto and a journalist.

Both cases featured similar charges, with prosecutors arguing suspects helped orchestrate a wave of deadly violence after Kenya's 2007 elections.

The arrest warrants were issued in March but kept sealed, or secret from the public, to ensure that the men did not attempt to flee or "obstruct or endanger the investigation or court proceedings and to prevent the further exercise of corrupt influence on the witnesses of the Court".

The men were arrested in Nairobi on July 30, the court said.

The case against Kenyatta was withdrawn in March for lack of evidence. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her task had been made impossible by lack of cooperation from Kenyan authorities.

In Thursday's statement, the court said the men were "criminally responsible for offences against the administration of justice, consisting in corruptly influencing prosecution witnesses".

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