The Star (Nairobi)

4 September 2014

Kenya: My Hatred for Ruto Forced Me to Give False Testimony, Witness Tells ICC Judges

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta adjourned indefinitely (file photo).

A witness has told the court that his hatred for Deputy President William Ruto was one of the reasons that made him give false testimony to ICC investigators.

Witness 604 told the court that when he was approached by an unnamed lady and promised among other things money, he saw this as an opportunity to get back at Ruto.

The witness, who testified from Nairobi via video-link, told the court that this happened in April of 2013 and he decided to record the lies in his July 2013 statement.

He said that the lady told him that she had been approached by investigators from the ICC, that they still needed some more witnesses to testify against Ruto and Sang.

"She told me that it was good for me to join in giving that statement even if it is false, there is no problem, she told me that if I give out that statement and I am approved to be a witness, I will get many privileges, one she told me that my children are going to be given free education by the ICC," the witness said.

He added that the lady also told him that he will live a very comfortable life outside Kenya and in a country of his choice, and that he could pursue his education while the ICC will be paying for the school fees.

"And then finally, which is a personal issue was because I have been against Ruto from the beginning naturally, so that hatred that I had on Ruto also provoked me to give false statement," the witness said.

Senior trial lawyer Anton Steynberg had sought to know from the witness why he had opted to give information to ICC investigators that he now says is false.

In July 2013, the witness had said that he had recognised some Kalenjin attackers who had been involved in fighting pro-PNU supporters.

However, on August 11 this year, the witness recanted his testimony and said that he was no longer willing to be a prosecution witness.

Following this revelation, Steynberg went on to apply that the witness be declared hostile for having changed his testimony saying the opposite of his initial statement.

"The witness has gone further and made allegations on the conduct of staff of the prosecution and having refused to meet with the prosecution makes him hostile," Steynberg said.

However, Presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said that "unfavorable testimony" does not necessary mean that the witness is hostile.

Verbatim:

Q (Steynberg): I'm now, taking from page 98 line 20 you said I left my diary at home so they told me are you referring to the investigators when you say they told me?

A (Witness). Yes.

Q. They told me that when coming, bring the diary so that we can fill to concur with the statement

A. Yes.

Q. So the first question is, where were you when you filled in

these entries? Were you at home or were you at the location

where you met the investigators?

A. At the location where I met the investigators

Q. And when you filled this information in, where were the investigators

A. I was with them

Q. They were present?

A. Yes.

Q. The information which you filled into the diary, was that correct or incorrect?

A. Sorry?

Q. Yes. The investigation that you filled in the diary in the presence of the investigators my question was was that information correct, was it true or was it false?

A. Some were true, some were false.

Q. And did the investigators know that part of the information was false, according to you?

A. Yes.

Q. And why were you filling in false entries in this diary?

A. It was to concur with what I had told them before.

Q. In your statement?

A. Yes.

Q. And what you told the investigators in your statement, was that true or was that false?

A. Some of the parts are true; some parts are false.

Q. And why did you record false information in your statement to the investigators?

A. Sometimes back in April last year that is 2013 I was approached -- I don't know if I should mention the name.

Q. No, you shouldn't mention the name. Approached by, was it a man or a lady?

A. A lady.

Q. We'll get that information in private session, but for the time being, carry on with your story.

A. So she told me that she had been approached by investigators from the ICC, that they still needed some more witnesses to testify against William Ruto and Joshua Sang. So she told me that it was good for me to join in giving that statement even if it is false, there is no problem, she told me that if I give out that statement and I am approved to be a witness, I will get many privileges, one she told me that my children are going to be given free education by the International Criminal Court. She told me that I will live a very comfortable life outside Kenya and in a country of my choice, and that I can pursue my education while the ICC will be paying for me the school fees. And then finally, which is personal issue was because I have been against Ruto from the beginning naturally, so that hatred that I had on Ruto also provoked me to -- to -- to give false statement.

Q. So were those your reasons for giving a false statement

A. Yes.

Q. Were there any other reasons

A. Maybe just to add on that is that personally, my earning was very low so I took it to be to be fantastic if I can get my children going to good schools, living a comfortable life outside Kenya, yeah and then I saw as if it was a privilege to me. She told me this is the only opportunity we don't utilise this opportunity I don't believe any other opportunity will come.

Q. I see and those are your reasons for giving a false statement, correct?

A. Exactly.

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