International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued warrant of arrest for journalist Walter Barasa for allegedly coercing witnesses in the ongoing cases of Deputy President William to withdraw from giving evidence. Barasa who wrote for Daily Nation for eight years and later The People confirmed yesterday that the warrant of arrest against him has been issued but he termed it of no consequence since he has no hand in the withdrawal of the witnesses at The Hague.
In a revelation yesterday, Barasa narrated how ICC investigator, Paul Irani has tried unsuccessfully to coerce him to assist him get witnesses from Eldoret to testify against Deputy President William Ruto. “The said ICC investigator has been telling me to help him fix the Deputy President since he has no evidence against him after failing to get witnesses from Eldoret. I have severally turned him down,” Barasa said.
According to Barasa,Irani has been threatening him that if he does not co-operate to help fix Ruto, he will issue arrest warrant and send him to jailed for five years. Barasa is being accused by the ICC of being behind the sporadic withdrawal of witnesses at the ongoing cases facing Ruto and former Journalist, Joshua Arap Sang.
“I respect the court,I respect the rights of the accused persons to a fair trial,and the victims right to get justice but I do not accept coercion and unorthodox means of implicating accused persons and conducting investigations with a prefixed end,” Barasa said. ICC has also accused Barasa of being behind the delay of witnesses travel to The Hague to adduce evidence against Ruto, an allegation which he resolutely denies. “I have no power to cause any witness not to travel abroad,” he said.
“How can I cause the delay of the witnesses yet the witnesses are abroad and in the custody of ICC,”posed Barasa. He denied that he has been making frantic efforts to ensure witness p536 at The Hague withdraws from giving her evidence. Barasa said the Witness p536 had told him she was coerced to testify that he was a cook and prepared meals for the warriors who torched the Kiambaa church. Barasa charged that the witness was coerced to give evidence.
“She has moved to three different countries, Uganda,Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo before finally being flown to The Hague to give evidence,” he added. Barasa added that the witness made several calls to him to assist her to get out as a witness and return to Kenya because there exists peace and she no longer was interested in testifying.
One of the texts messages allegedly sent by her to Barasa read: “Hey wamenitumia ujumbe wakisema kuwa watanikujia jumatatu coz washapeana majina ya washaidi na mimi ni mmoja wao…. so jaribu kuja kati ya leo na ju- mapili…tafadhali niambie day ya kufika huku nipe majibu” Barasa said he is ready to cooperate with ICC and is willing to face Irani at The Hague since he has all the evidence that no investigations were done and the witness was coerced and coached. “I have already instructed my advocate Nick Kaufmann to appear for me and bring everything to the court,”he said.