Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Key witness lied' in Kenya's ICC case

07 February 2013, 09:43

The Hague - Defence lawyers for top Kenyan politician Uhuru Kenyatta have asked the International Criminal Court to drop the trial against him, saying a top prosecution witness lied.

In a document made public on Wednesday, Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay said a prosecution witness only named "OTP-4" had lied about being present at meetings between Kenyatta and the Mungiki, Kenya's powerful criminal underground in the run-up to the controversial presidential vote and its violent aftermath.

Judges of the Hague-based ICC last year decided to try Kenyatta and his co-accused Francis Muthaura on five counts of crimes against humanity over their role in the 2007-08 unrest that gripped the east African country, killing more than 1,100 people.

Prosecutors said Kenyatta and Muthaura used the Mungiki, described as a mafia-like group similar to a sect and inspired by Kenya's Mau-Mau fighters, to foment violence and attack opposition members during the country's deadliest unrest since independence in 1963.

In one case, the ICC's pre-trial judges - who confirmed charges against Kenyatta and Muthaura in January last year - found that the two men, together with President Mwai Kibaki met Mungiki members at Nairobi's State House in November 2007.

During the confirmation of charges hearing, prosecutors used OTP-4's eyewitness accounts of the meetings to show judges the link between Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding father Jomo Kenyatta, and the Mungiki.

But Kay said, "After the confirmation hearing, OTP-4 resiled from his evidence and admitted he had lied and was not present at the meeting as alleged".

Trial date

"OTP-4 has also admitted lying about another meeting at which he alleged he was present between Kenyatta and Mungiki personnel," Kay said.

Furthermore, OTP-4 "the only direct source" was no longer on the prosecution's witness list of an alleged meeting on 3 January 2008, where Kenyatta was supposed to have directed the Mungiki to commit the crimes for which he have been charged.

The prosecution has misled judges by using OTP-4's statements to get them to confirm the charges against his client, Kay said.

"For the reasons set out above, the Defence... requests the Chamber to refer the... issue of the validity of the confirmation decision back to the pre-Trial Chamber and vacate the day set for trial," Kay said.

Responding, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's office said on Wednesday its preparations for a trial date for Kenyatta, Muthaura and the two other accused in the case, then opposition supporters William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang on April 10 and 11 were continuing.

"The channel to respond to all submissions presented to the Chamber by any party to proceedings before the court is through a filing to the judges and not through the media," Bensouda's office added.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...