BENSOUDA ASKS TO MEET UHURU BANK MANAGERS
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta’s bankers before August 8 as she continues to seek his financial records.
It has also emerged that the government has not been able to provide any information on land and companies owned by Uhuru as the prosecution has been told it is unavailable.
Attorney General Githu Muigai warned that the government cannot provide any information in violation of the Constitution and when there are no specifics from the prosecution.
“The Prosecutor cannot outsource to us the work of investigators. If we receive more specific and more focused requests, then we will help,” Muigai said. Uhuru’s lawyer Steven Kay said the prosecution was on a “fishing expedition”.
“We have had an outstanding request for a verdict of not guilty since prosecution said they lacked sufficient evidence. What we are now seeing is new games as our friends have developed cold feet and are afraid to dispose of this case,” Kay said.
Bensouda and Muigai have agreed in principle that the Kenyan government will act in good faith and help facilitate a meeting between the prosecutor and the bankers.
“The OTP has asked for representatives of the banks in question to be made available for meetings with OTP investigators in order to identify and explain the underlying documents (cheques, transfer instructions, etc.) referred to in the bank statements,” an agreement between Bensouda and Githu reads.
The prosecution said that Uhuru consented to having the bank accounts under his name released to them. Bensouda wants the records disclosed to prove that Uhuru bankrolled the 2007-08 post-election violence.
The prosecution has told the court that it needs access to Uhuru’s bank records, claiming that they “might demonstrate innocence or suggest it”.
Yesterday, Bensouda and Githu held a confidential meeting at The Hague in the morning in the presence of the judges, with Uhuru’s lawyers joining in an open session in the afternoon.
During the afternoon session, the court heard that the prosecution has not received any records showing Uhuru’s ownership of companies. “Our problem is not human resource, but the technical capacity to go through the paper trail prior to 2009,” the AG said.
Kay said that the company ownership was not relevant to the post-election violence and was not even in the pre-trial brief. “There is no witness who is saying that there was a company involved in the PEV or that someone was paid dividends used to finance the Mungiki. I put it in this sarcastic manner because our patience is really at an end in this matter,” Kay said.
On land ownership, prosecution lawyer Benjamin Gumpert said that they have only been told that the land Registry is being reorganised and has received no details of Uhuru’s ownership of corporations.
Prosecution lawyer said that Lands CS Charity Ngilu has told them that so far there are no records showing that Uhuru owns any land. “If it is government’s position that Kenyatta does not own any land, millions of Kenyans will be extraordinarily surprised,” victims’ lawyer Fergal Gaynor said.