Well, well, well, this is a possibly a huge story, massive in its potential ramifications, and it has been out in the public domain for ages: so why the media silence on the subject asks the Kenya Forum?
Did Luis Ocampo commit perjury at the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Was James Maina Kabuta, Mungiki activist and the chief witness against Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Mathaura over their alleged involvement with post-election violence in Kenya, pressured into giving testimony? Were ‘Ambassador’ Bethuel Kiplagat and International Commission of Jurists Executive Director George Kegoro and the Nairobi office of the United Nations Development Programme involved with spiriting Kabuta out of Kenya to a new life in the United States – if he testified? Well that’s what in effect James Kabuta says.
JAMES MAINA KABUTA – ‘WITNESS NO. 4’
Kabuta gave testimony to the ‘Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence’ (the Waki Commission) in September 2008 saying that he was a member of the Mungiki, that he met with President Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Mathaura, that he received funds, and that he, they and others, helped perpetrate some of the planned violence after Kenya’s disputed election in December 2007.
It was Kabuta’s testimony, as ‘Witness No 4’ in the pre-trial hearings at The Hague that provided the lead testimony and basis on which Kenyatta and Mathaura were subsequently hauled up in front of the ICC and now face prosecution.
However, and it is a big ‘HOWEVER’, Kabuta withdrew his allegations almost in their entirety in July 2009 once he got safely ensconced in the USA. He had been a member of the Mungiki, he admitted, although he described himself as having been forced into it, but no meetings took place, he said, not with Kibaki, Kenyatta of Mathaura; no money changed hands; and no violence was planned (at least, not with his involvement).
You can see the interview and paperwork on the links to this article and we leave it to readers the extent to which they believe Kabuta. What intrigued the Kenya Forum however, were two aspects to the story.
ICC PROSECUTOR LUIS OCAMPO – PERJURY?
First, ICC Prosecutor Luis Ocampo was alleged to have been fully aware that Kabuta had withdrawn his crucial testimony (crucial to Ocampo’s case that is) in 2009 but again allegedly, did not inform the ICC, an omission if true that constitutes perjury.
KIPLAGAT, KEGORO AND THE UNDP
Second, Kabuta claims that Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat (sometime Chairman of the TJRC) and ICJ Executive Director George Kegoro (you probably won’t read about this in the Nairobi Law Monthly) helped persuade him, “pressured” was the word, to give testimony to the Waki Commission and then assisted him with flight tickets to get out of the country with the aid of the Nairobi office of the United Nations Development Programme (the fact that Kiplagat’s daughter works for the UNDP is purely a coincidence) who provided a diplomatic passport to aid his flight from Kenya.
There’s more to come on this and related stories but in the meantime take a look at the links and see what you think.