|Walter Barasa | Courtesy of the People News|
This arrest warrant being the first for Kenya and the first in the history of the court for offences of interfering with witnesses is no doubt a game changer. Immediately, folks close to the establishment read malice and posted this comments on social media;
Two weeks ago, Prosecution: "Mr. President your Honours, in the coming days Co-operation will be "tested"....two weeks later...."warrants of arrests issued".....it is easier to defend a guilty man than an innocent one. The Lubanga case shows that the ICC will stop at nothing; stoop to unimaginable depths while acting against even the Rome Statute, in order to TEST co-operation. - J. Mbiuki - Counsel at the PresidencyThen today came the announcement by the Attorney General Githu Muingai that the arrest warrant would be subjected to the Judicial process which will determine if the state will hand over Mr. Barasa to the ICC. So we are bound for some interesting times ahead.
Listen to the Prosecutor making an announcement that preceded the announcement of issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Barasa
Press Release from ICC
Press Release: 02.10.2013
Arrest Warrant Unsealed in Kenya situation: Walter Barasa suspected of corruptly influencing witnesses
Situation: The Republic of Kenya
Case: The Prosecutor v. Walter Osapiri Barasa
Today, 2 October 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed an arrest warrant against Walter Osapiri Barasa, Kenyan citizen, born in 1972. He is charged with several offences against the administration of justice including corruptly influencing or attempting to corruptly influence ICC witnesses. An under seal warrant of arrest was issued against him on 2 August 2013. This is the first case before the ICC where a suspect is charged with an offence against the administration of justice, in accordance with article 70 of the Rome Statute.
Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II, considered that the evidence presented by the Prosecutor established reasonable grounds to believe that Walter Barasa is criminally responsible as direct perpetrator for the crime of corruptly influencing or, alternatively, attempting to corruptly influence witnesses by offering to pay them to withdraw as ICC Prosecution witnesses in the context of the Kenyan cases before the ICC. Allegedly, he has been and is still acting in furtherance of a criminal scheme devised by a circle of officials within the Kenyan administration.
Based on the Prosecutor’s evidence, Judge Tarfusser also found that it is necessary to arrest Walter Osapiri Barasa to ensure his appearance at trial, to ensure that he does not obstruct or endanger the investigation or the proceedings, and to prevent him from continuing with the commission of the crime.
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Video of press point by the ICC Prosecutor on the arrest warrant against Walter Barasa