THE ICC has once again warned against irresponsible utterances that may expose identity of protected witnesses prior to the trial of four Kenyans next year.
The court's outreach coordinator for Kenya, Mariah Kamara, told a forum in Nairobi that the court will not take kindly any acts which seek to expose its witnesses. Kamara was speaking at a forum to mark the court's 10 years of existence.
She assured Kenyans that the witnesses will pay if they are found to be lying. She was responding to claims by participants that the witnesses produced against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the pretrial phase are fraudsters. "If a witness lies, he risks five years in prison. Be very careful when you say witnesses are very well known to you. If you intimidate or expose a witness, you risk five years in prison. ICC witnesses are not under public domain. All protected witnesses remain protected - the court does not take exposing them kindly." she said.
Last week, Uhuru applied to the court seeking to know the identities of two of the witnesses levelled against him. He also wants to know if they will be deployed against him at the trial. Emotional youths who attended the forum complained that the court has been targeting Africans. They accused the court of being a puppet of the Americans. "Whether with evidence or not, the US is perceived to influence everything at the Hague. The US is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The Rome statute states that the UNSC can refer a case to the ICC. Though the US is not a signatory to the Rome statute, it influences the ICC through the Security Council by it being a permanent member," Mark Kibarabara one of the participant said.
Kamara explained that the US is not a state party to the ICC, that US cannot refer any matter to the court and that there is no American judge at the ICC. There has never been an American prosecutor at the ICC also. The participants also wanted to know why the people alluded to by Miguna Miguna, a former advisor to Prime Minister Raila Odinga have not summoned by the court. "The case at the Hague is not based on public opinion but based on evidence," Kamara answered. Answered. She added that investigation in the Kenyan case is ongoing and if the prosecution finds any concrete relevant information, it will be taken into account.