September 16, 2014

Summary

A witness, originally for the prosecution at the ICC trial in The Hague, has said he received over Sh1 million to testify against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.

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ICC Prosecution Paid Witness Over SH1 Million – Is This Not News?

ICC Prosecution Paid Witness Over SH1 Million – Is This Not News?
Ruto and Sang at the ICC – Witness says he was paid Sh1 million to testify against them

You probably haven’t seen this. A witness, originally for the prosecution at the ICC trial in The Hague, has said he received over Sh1 million to testify against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang. The story first appeared in the Star online but not in the print version of that newspaper. Nor has it appeared in the Daily Nation but it has just scraped into a small column on page 12 of today’s Standard.

WITNESS 604

‘Witness 604’ said he was paid Sh1,015,571 by the prosecution over two years to give evidence against Ruto and Sang. The money was to cover “accommodation and daily spending” for which he did not have to provide receipts.

Between December 2013 and April of this year the court heard Witness 604 was paid Sh460,000. In January he was paid Sh165,000 for ‘subsistence’, money he said he would normally take two years to earn. In total he has received $11,406 (that’s right, US Dollars) to cover ‘transport, food and accommodation’ while waiting to give his testimony.

No wonder witness 604 described the amounts of money given to him “fantastic” and “wonderful”.

WITNESS HAD “NATURAL HATE” FOR RUTO

According to Witness 604 he had a “natural hate” for Ruto and that, together with the offer of money from the prosecution ‘to support him in any way with any proposal he made’, led him to lie in his statement.

The witness had, of course, been called by the Fatou Bensouda’s prosecution team but given his change of story he has been deemed by the court as a “hostile witness”.

KENYA’S EDITORS NOT INTERESTED?

If Witness 604 made his original testimony against Ruto and Sang because of the large amounts of money on offer to him from the prosecution, somebody surely needs to be called to account. And, the Kenya Forum asks, why has such an important story been so little recorded in our national newspapers?

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