Situation in Kenya: ICC Judges unseal an arrest warrant against Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett
Situation: Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett
On 10 September 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed an arrest warrant against Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett, initially issued on 10 March 2015 for offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing witnesses.
The Pre-Trial Chamber II found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Philip Kipkoech Bett, also known as "Kipseng'erya", hailing from and residing in Kenya, and Paul Gicheru, a lawyer based in Kenya, are criminally responsible for offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing Prosecution witnesses.
Based on the Prosecutor's evidence, the Chamber found that it was necessary to arrest the two suspects to ensure their appearance before the Court, to ensure that they do not obstruct or endanger the investigation or court proceedings and to prevent the further exercise of corrupt influence on the witnesses of the Court.
In its decision of 10 March 2015, the Chamber found that the ICC should exercise its jurisdiction on this case, considering that based on the available information before the Chamber, an effective national prosecution was unlikely to take place in the particular circumstances of the present case, and with view to the size and extent of organisation of the alleged criminal effort to corruptly influence witnesses of the Court as well as the related concerns for witness protection.
Pre-Trial Chamber II decided today to make the arrest warrant public on the basis of the information provided by the Prosecutor, that Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett were arrested on 30 July 2015 by the Kenyan police in Nairobi, Kenya, in execution of the ICC's request for arrest and surrender, and were presented before a Judge of the High Court of Kenya in accordance with Kenyan law. Since the arrest has taken place and since Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett were made aware of the ICC's warrant of arrest, the confidentiality of the document was no longer justified.
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].