HOW MY CASE COLLAPSED, SAYS BENSOUDA
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has extensively documented how her star witnesses were allegedly influenced to recant their testimony, resulting in the collapse of the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a heavily redacted prosecution Pretrial Brief published on the Internet, on Monday night, Bensouda explained how Witnesses 4, 11 and 12 – whose testimony was used in the confirmation of charges – abruptly withdrew from the case.
Both Witnesses 4 and 11 were reported to have attended a much-disputed State House meeting where retaliatory attacks against ODM supporters in Naivasha and Nakuru allegedly were sanctioned.
“In 2009, Prosecution Witness 4 was tracked down by intermediaries purportedly acting on behalf of the Accused, who bribed him to withdraw his testimony regarding the PEV,” she stated in the Brief.
“The intermediaries include Njee Muturi, personal assistant to Mr Kenyatta, and Bildad Kagai, an individual said to have acted as a Defence intermediary.” Muturi is now the Solicitor General.
Bensouda said she was finally forced to withdraw the witness from the prosecution list for what she described as the “bribery campaign that had damaged the Witness’s credibility”.
She also claimed that former Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu, a key ally of the President’s, was involved in influencing Witnesses 11 and 12.
She stated: “In a series of controlled telephone conversations recorded by the Prosecution with the witness’s consent, Mr Waititu told Witness 12 that he wanted to meet with him to discuss assisting Mr Kenyatta to ‘solve this fight’ and the ‘lump of money to be given’.”
Bensouda said that in the telephone conversation, Waititu told the witnesses that Uhuru did not want to be involved to avoid “direct” involvement because he was worried about getting caught tampering with evidence.
“The witnesses themselves have been targeted by Mr Kenyatta’s associates — apparently with his knowledge — in attempts to resolve this case through bribery rather than the judicial process,” she said.
In an early document, Bensouda explained that withdrawal of Witness 11 undermined her case by removing evidence regarding the intermediaries who allegedly oversaw the attacks on Uhuru’s behalf.
She identified the intermediaries as former MPs George Thuo, Mwangi Kiunjiri, Jane Kihara and John Mututho. The four are among individuals who coordinated logistical elements of the Rift Valley attacks, Bensouda said.