Revealed: ICC wanted police chief to trap Uhuru Kenyatta
Fresh details have emerged on how retired ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo attempted to lure former Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali as a prosecution witness against Uhuru Kenyatta.
The revelation was first made in a New York Times piece published online on Wednesday, which said the former police boss turned down an offer to have him testify against Mr Kenyatta and former head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, in exchange for the prosecution dropping all his charges.
The article says the prosecution turned to General Ali after it was “faced with a dwindling pool of evidence”.
In a telephone conversation, Maj-Gen Ali’s lawyer Evans Monari confirmed that the prosecution indeed made several overtures before the pre-trial chamber made a determination.
“We told him off, first, because we didn’t think that they had sustainable charges against Ali,” said Mr Monari.
“Secondly, we did not have any evidence that would have helped him convict any of the other suspects. So, after analysing the scenario, we decided we’d rather take our chances and we pulled through.”
Mr Monari says his team was approached in person by ICC prosecutors (Mr Ocampo was not one of them) both here in Kenya in The Hague, Netherlands, where the court is headquartered.
Mr Ali’s charges were dropped on January 23, 2012 when the ICC pre-trial chamber presided over by Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova ruled that there was not enough evidence against him.
He had been named by Mr Ocampo on December 15, 2010, where he was accused authorising the use of excessive force and facilitated attacks against supporters of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement during the post-2007 general election violence.
The article also claims that Mr Ocampo had turned to former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga and enlisted him as a prosecution witness.
It says Mr Njenga had outlined to the ICC prosecution the organizational structure of the militia gang and the role it played in the PEV.
“Njenga was ‘very forthright,’ (Lawyer Paul) Muite told me, and he later agreed to testify in The Hague,” says the article.
The ICC prosecutor, however, never got a chance to use whatever evidence Mr Njenga may have provided telling the writer; “I didn’t think I should expose Maina Njenga. I cannot protect him”.
Mr Monari has faulted Mr Ocampo for exposing details of the witnesses in the NYT article.
“He has breached the protective measures that ICC had put in place with regards to the witnesses and I think the ICC should take remedial measures,” he said.
ICC judges have since dropped all charges against the Ocampo Six among them President Kenyatta, Mr Muthaura, Mr Ali, Deputy President William Ruto, and former ODM chairman Henry Kosgey and former radio journalist Francis Sang.