ICC 'witness fixers' should be tried in Kenya, AG Githu Muigai says

Attorney-General Githu Muigai.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The attorney-general said cases facing the three Kenyans relating to witness interference are also crimes within the Kenyan laws.
  • He insisted Kenya was still a law-abiding nation.

Kenya will demand to try three Kenyans accused of interfering with witnesses at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in local courts.

In the latest statement of intent against the ICC, Attorney-General Githu Muigai said on Thursday the offences the three face can be prosecuted in Kenya.

"It is the government of Kenya's position that the charges against the three suspects are for crimes that fall within Kenya's normal criminal justice jurisdiction and can thus be effectively prosecuted and adjudicated domestically," Prof Muigai said at a press conference in Nairobi.

The three, Walter Barasa, Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett are wanted by the ICC for alleged witness interference in cases that six other Kenyans initially faced at the court before charges were dropped.

The pronouncement comes just a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared that no other Kenyan will be surrendered to the ICC.

The President spoke during a celebration rally in Nakuru after his deputy William Ruto was freed by the ICC in what judges declared a mistrial.

Though Prof Muigai agreed witness interference is a serious charge, he argued Kenya feels local laws can still handle the prosecution.

His office, he said, will be writing to the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to supply Kenya with evidence and other documents so the three can be tried locally.