The Prosecutor vs Paul Guicheru
On March 31st, 2010, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) responded favourably to the Prosecutor’s request to open an investigation into the situation in the Republic of Kenya in relation to the 2007-2008 post-election violence in that country.
Indeed, general elections were held in Kenya in 2007 opposing on one hand the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by Mr. Raila Odinga and Mr. William Ruto and on the other the Party of National Unity (PNU) led by former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and current President Uhuru Kenyatta.
It would appear that the results of this election, bringing Mr. Mwai Kibaki to the head of the Kenyan Republic, have led to widespread violence throughout the country and exacerbated ethnic tensions, particularly between the Kalenjin and Kikuyu tribes.
After investigating this situation, the Office of the Prosecutor has charged Misters Ruto and Sang with 6 counts of crimes against humanity while charging Mr Kenyatta with 5 counts of crimes against humanity. These charges were dropped by successive judgments dated March 13th, 2015 for Mr Kenyatta and April 05th, 2016 for Mr Ruto and Mr Sang. In its judgment withdrawing the charges in the Ruto and Sang case, the majority noted that the decision was partly motivated by interference, pressure and intimidation suffered by certain witnesses of the Prosecutor. These acts allegedly influenced them not to testify.
The ICC’s Investigation concluded that there was reason to believe that Mr. Guicheru and Mr. Bett were responsible for these obstructions of justice. An arrest warrant for Mr Guicheru was issued on March 10th, 2015.
On November 03rd, 2020, Mr Guicheru surrendered to the Court authorities under this arrest warrant and appeared for the first time before the Pre-Trial Chamber on November 06th, 2020. On February 1st, 2021, he was released on parole in Kenya with strict conditions of restriction of liberty. During the confirmation of charges proceedings against him, the Court concluded that there were substantial grounds to believe that the defendant committed as a co-perpetrator, or otherwise other modes of responsibility, violations of the administration of justice between April 2013 and the end of the Ruto and Sang case on September 10th, 2015. The abuses were allegedly committed as part of a joint plan implemented by a group of individuals including Mr. Guicheru, whose ultimate goal was to defeat the Ruto and Sang case before the ICC.
The hearing opened on February 15th, 2022 and is ongoing.
This summary of the facts of this case and the proceedings is only proposed for informational purposes, does not engage Dome in any way and cannot replace the careful reading of the judgments and orders of the case.