Kenya: Paul Gicheru surrendered to the ICC

The Kenyan Paul Gicheru surrendered to the Dutch authorities while he has been wanted since March 2015 by the ICC, which is based in the Netherlands. He was accused by the court of witness tampering during the period when the current Kenyan Vice-President, William Ruto, was being prosecuted for crimes against humanity following the 2007-2008 electoral violence. The prosecutor’s office dropped the charges, but the warrant for Paul Gicheru’s arrest was still outstanding.
Despite his arrest warrant, Paul Gicheru was not in hiding. On the contrary. Since the ICC case, the lawyer had been somehow “rewarded” by the Kenyan government with prestigious positions in public institutions. In 2014, he was appointed head of the Public Procurement Review Board. Since 2018, he has been Chairman of the Export Processing Zones Authority, an entity specializing in exports.
But the ICC had not forgotten this. According to the prosecutor’s office, it was he who coordinated a campaign launched in April 2013 to systematically approach and try to influence witnesses with bribes: 5,000 to 50,000 dollars and job opportunities were offered to six of them. Paul Gicheru would have finalized the agreements, organized the official retractions that were sometimes even signed in his office.
In April 2016, the lawsuit against Vice President William Ruto was dropped for lack of evidence, but also because many witnesses had changed their minds. However, the ICC had taken some precautions.
When the Ruto case closed, the court refused to formally acquit the vice president, stating that the case could be reopened if new evidence surfaced. It is not known why Paul Gicheru surrendered. But the secrets he holds could soon prove embarrassing.