ICC Witness denies he was coached

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Ruto-ICC witnessDEPUTY President William Ruto’s defence team yesterday tore into the credibility of the current prosecution witness as he sought to disown two affidavits.

Lawyer Shyamala Alegandra challenged the witness over his flip-flopping testimony before the court including inconsistency in his affidavits.

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The witness was led to say that he had been introduced to the prosecution by an individual only named as “Number 6”.

When shown his affidavit, the witness denied the narrative which indicated that he was coached to be a witness.

“When I look at this paragraph it is like the investigators hired me to become a witness. It is not true. I would not have framed it this way. No one asked me to give any testimony before the court. I was introduced to the OTP by person number 6,” the witness said.

The witness is among a group of witnesses who had sworn affidavits on August 29, 2013 saying that they no longer wanted to be witnesses.

In the affidavits, they named some players in the civil society as having been behind their decision to join the prosecution’s witness line-up.

Alegandra also led the witness to tell the court that he had only told the prosecution about Ruto’s role in the post-election violence twice in 2012.

“Is it not true that over the last two years, you interaction with the OTP has been in regards to Article 70 on the interference of witnesses?” Alegandra sought from the witness.

“Yes. We have been discussing matters of Article 70,” the witness said.

Earlier in the day during the examination in chief, the was taken to task to explain why he had left the court’s protection units after he gave two accounts.

The witness claimed that he had been offered money to recant his testimony against Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

He also told the court that he left the protection programme after disagreement with the court’s officials over the allowances he was receiving.

It took the intervention of presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji to whether the witness had left the protection programme after being asked to recant or due to the issues he was having with the court officials.

“I want to clarify something from the testimony. Did you leave the protection location one before or after you have talked to person number 22?” Osuji asked.

“It was after meeting person number 22,” the witness said.

According to the witness, this person was the one who made contact with him and asked him to recant his testimony for monetary benefit.

The witness said that he had asked for more allowances from the ICC as what he was being offered was not enough to sustain him and his family

This, he said, was the beginning of his troubles with the ICC officials who he said insisted that what he was getting was enough.

“I felt that the money given to me was too little. The officials on the ground also told me that I have no right to demand more since I had not signed any MoU with the court,” the witness said.

“I felt it was better to go back home in Kenya and get the money that I was being offered to recant my statement,” the witness said.

– the-star.co.ke

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