A Kenyan wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) has challenged an arrest warrant issued against him by The Hague-based Court, arguing lack of evidence against him.
ICC issued a warrant of arrest Philip Kipkoech Bett for allegedly bribing prosecution witnesses to recant their testimonies in case that faced Deputy President William Ruto and Radio Journalist Joshua Arap Sang, which have since been terminated for lack of evidence.
Through his lawyer Anthony Kiprono, Bett said that an application by Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to execute the ICC arrest warrant against Bett was flawed as the DPP failed to make an independent evaluation of the warrant. Kiprono told High Court Judge Luka Kimaru that his client’s accusations in the ICC arrest warrant are offenses that can be tried in Kenyan courts, as the Rome Statute, the founding law of the ICC provides.
Bett and Paul Gicheru are accused by ICC of paying or offering to pay six prosecution witnesses between Sh500,000 and Sh5 million (about $48,000) each to withdraw as witnesses.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda lamented withdrawal of key witnesses from cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and Joshua Arap sang.
The three were named as the main perpetrators of the 2007/08 post-election violence that left over 1000 dead and several others internally displaced.