25 January 2014

Kenya: ICC Witness Asked for Sh60,000 to Testify

Photo: Capital FM
The Attorney General Githu Muigai (file photo).

THE ninth prosecution witness in the ICC case against deputy President William Ruto was cornered into contradicting his own evidence on financial dealings with the court and details of Ruto's homes.

Ruto's defence counsel Karim Khan tabled receipts showing that witness P-0356 had placed demands for Sh50,000 per night for hotel accommodation in Eldoret.

At first the witness denied knowledge of the receipts, denied ever buying a receipt book, denied the hand writing in the receipt was his and denied demanding the amount from the court. When the court retreated to a private session and was shown more evidence, he owned up partially.

"I now remember the receipts. I accept the one for Sh4000 because I paid that myself, but for the other ones of Sh50,000 a representative of the court paid. I did not write those receipts and if we were in a private session I would tell who wrote them," he said.

He also denied he ever fell into trouble with the ICC over monetary claims but admitted that he was convicted for stealing. Although he told the prosecution that he spent the proceeds of the theft on drink, the witness denied this until he was shown the recordings and admitted.

The witness also admitted he messed up on his description of Ruto's Sugoi home. He had told the prosecution in his statement that the house had a white-painted exterior but when showed the pictures of his houses changed tune.

The picture showed to him had a red-tiled stone house and only the entrance has white. Khan insisted that the reason why the witness was unable to properly describe the house is because he had never been there in the first place.

"I agree I messed up on the description. But I have been there severally," he said.

The witness also clashed with Khan on the number of rooms in the Sugoi house. The witness had told the prosecution that the house was 15 to 20 rooms but when asked yesterday said it had 10 to 15 rooms.

"If I put to you that you have never been into any of Ruto's homes what would you say? Khan posed to which the witness responded: "That's a lie. I have been to his Eldoret Town and Sugoi homes."

Khan said the Sugoi home was only four bedrooms but the witness held his ground that it has 10 to 15 rooms. Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji asked for the plans of the Sugoi house to settle the matter. Khan said the plans were available but not for "this particular witness."

He was showed another photo of Ruto's Eldoret Town house which Khan said was "one and a half bedroom" and not bigger than the ICC courtroom. The witness denied it is the house he testified about. He said the house he had testified about was one-storey building along Old Nairobi road.

The witness however agreed that the house he was showed was Ruto's and even said he had been there severally. He however stuck to his line that there was another house which he visited prior to the 2007 elections and whose photo was not availed at the court.

"Mr Ruto has never lived in a storey building in Eldoret ever," Khan said.

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