ICC dismisses accused Kenyan's claimsBy OLIVER MATHENGE in Nairobi | Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 18:21
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has dismissed claims by former head of civil service Francis Muthaura that her office had contacted his witnesses.
Ms Bensouda termed as “overblown rhetoric” claims by Mr Muthaura that the prosecution was acting improperly in the course of its investigations or departing from the “golden jurisprudential thread, running through the decisions of all Chambers".
“The Defence Application fails both in fact and in law and should be dismissed. The Prosecution has and continues to conduct itself in good faith, in accordance with its statutory duties, and with scrupulous regard for the security of witnesses,” Ms Bensouda told the judges Wednesday.
On Monday, Mr Muthaura claimed that the prosecution was arbitrarily contacting his witnesses in disregard of the court’s processes. He argued that the court must preserve “the security and well-being of potential witnesses as well as safeguarding the integrity of the proceedings” with respect to contacting opposing party witnesses.
Ms Bensouda denied that the prosecution had contacted the said defence witnesses through an intermediary. The names of the two individuals are concealed throughout the document.
She also told the judges that the prosecution had not attempted to bribe any defence witness and asked Mr Muthaura to share his concrete allegations regarding the supposed "especially egregious misconduct".
"The Prosecution can state, without reserve, that it has no knowledge of anyone acting on its behalf ever making threats or inducements to witnesses in this case if and when the Defence decides,” Ms Bensouda said.
The ICC prosecutor, however, revealed that she had been in contact with some defence witnesses who were government officials in her cooperation requests.
Ms Bensouda said that the proposed injunction would prevent her from making routine contact with Kenya Government officials, and would interfere with the Prosecution’s statutory functions.
She said that if the judges barred her from contacting defence witnesses, she would be required to channel confidential cooperation requests to the government through the Defence.
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