Why Safaricom did not give Uhuru’s records to Bensouda

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Bensouda2610wICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda failed to provide Safaricom with specific telephone numbers she was seeking in the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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According to documents made public by the court on Thursday, Uhuru’s lawyers, the prosecution and a data retrieval expert were told by Safaricom that it was not possible to get the data without the numbers.

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“The Safaricom representative said that Safaricom could not help, as the request was not specific to actual telephone numbers,” a documents say.

A document adds: “Importantly, it was known to both parties (prosecution and defence) that call data could only be obtained only in respect to identified numbers.”

On Wednesday, Bensouda told ICC judges that the government was refusing to assist her obtain this data relating to communication between Uhuru and other parties.

Uhuru appeared in The Hague Wednesday at a status conference for his trial, suspended several times, on charges of crimes against humanity in connection with the 2007-08 post-election violence. He denies all charges.

The documents show the prosecution made the request for the information only after Uhuru’s lawyers used Kenya’s High Court to get the data.

Uhuru’s leader lawyer Steven Kay also gave the judges documents sent to both Attorney General Githu Muigai and Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndungu.

This includes a letter from the defence, consenting to the disclosure and onward transmission to the prosecution of Uhuru’s bank account records from December 1, 2007, to February 28, 2008.

Bensouda has now widened the period that the documents should cover, leading Kay to tell the court he will not provide any more information.

“The records of foreign exchange transactions were also made available. The best evidence has been supplied and again I am not going to supply further telephone numbers,” Kay told the court.

Kay has added that the information given to Bensouda relates to the specific period covered by the charges and extending it would not be acceptable.

The documents released by the court also show that Bensouda has a copy of Uhuru’s power of attorney appointing Steven Kay QC and Gillian Higgins as counsel in getting information from the CBK.

Kay also gave the judges a schedule of all relevant bank accounts held by Kenyatta.

On Wednesday, senior prosecuting counsel Benjamin Gumpert said at the height of the violence, Uhuru allegedly called their former witness six times.

“What was the government minister and future President talking to the Mungiki member about?” Gumpert asked during the status conference.

The prosecution also alleged it had nine witnesses ready to testify that Uhuru sponsored the post-election violence.

“Witness 428 received money and weapons from a former member of Parliament on a daily basis during the violence. That person told witness 428 that he was acting on behalf of Mr Kenyatta,” Gumpert said.

He said two other witnesses, 429 and 430, went to Uhuru’s house to raise funds for the violence.

Uhuru wants his case terminated but Bensouda says it should be put on hold until Kenya helps her access the telephone and bank records.

– the-star.co.ke

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