Paul Gicheru makes first appearance before the ICC: confirmation of charges procedure to be conducted in writing
On 6 November 2020, Paul Gicheru appeared before Pre-Trial Chamber A of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"), composed of Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, as decided by the President of the Pre-Trial Division in accordance with rule 165(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (the "Rules"). Mr Gicheru is suspected of offences against the administration of justice by corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.
The hearing was held in the presence of the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr Gicheru, who represented himself at this hearing, appeared via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre.
The Single Judge verified the identity of the suspect, and ensured that he was clearly informed of the offences against the administration of justice he is alleged to have committed and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC in a language he fully understands and speaks.
The confirmation of charges procedure will, in principle, be conducted in writing pursuant to rule 165(3) of the Rules. The Single Judge set provisional dates for the procedure. The Prosecution is to file its document containing the charges by 12 February 2021. The Defence may file a list of evidence by 26 February 2021. The parties shall then file written submissions by 15 March; the Prosecution can file its reply to the Defence submissions by 22 March, and the Defence can reply by 29 March 2021.
The purpose of the confirmation of charges procedure is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the offences against the administration of justice charged. If the charges are confirmed, totally or partly, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
Background: The arrest warrant against Mr Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett was issued under seal on 10 March 2015 and unsealed on 10 September 2015. Philip Kipkoech Bett is not in ICC custody. Mr Gicheru, a lawyer formerly based in Kenya, surrendered on 2 November 2020 to the authorities of The Netherlands. On 3 November 2020, he was surrendered to the ICC custody after the completion of the necessary national proceedings. On 2 November 2020, the President of the ICC Pre-Trial Division constituted Pre-Trial Chamber A (Article 70), composed of Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, to exercise the powers and functions of the Pre-Trial Chamber in this case.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]