By Janet Sankale
The Prosecution has released 435 more reviewed documents to lawyer Paul Gicheru’s defence, bringing to 717 the total number of pieces of evaluated evidence it has lined up to support its case against him.
“I can confirm that the prosecution has disclosed what is considered to be the most relevant evidence to this case,” Anton Steynberg, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the case said during Gicheru’s first status conference on September 24, 2021.
He told Trial Chamber III Judge Miatta Maria Samba that the prosecution had conducted a suitable review of the information in its possession.
During earlier submissions, the prosecution had said it had 43,524 items of evidence, totalling over 221,110 pages. It had identified a pool of 8,639 items totalling 97,843 pages, the content of which could potentially be relevant to the case.
Steynberg added that his office was continuing its investigation and announced that it was likely to call three additional witnesses in the case in which Gicheru is facing charges of offences against the administration of justice in which he has been accused of corruptly influencing witnesses in the cases from the situation in Kenya.
The prosecutor could not identify the witnesses or say whether they were willing to cooperate, explaining that their identity would be kept confidential until the necessary security measures had been put in place.
He could not even name the date for the prosecution’s meeting with the witnesses, saying this could compromise their security.
The defence asked for three months to review the latest evidence produced by the prosecutor. Defence lawyer Michael Karvanas told the court that his team was small and needed sufficient time to review the new evidence.
He added that the defence was likely to take more time to prepare its case because it was expecting two more expert witness reports from the prosecution, promised to be submitted by December 1, 2021, and set for review by the lawyers and their own experts.
The Registry confirmed that it would provide interpretation services for English and Swahili, the languages chosen for the trial.
The chamber will issue a ruling on how witnesses will be prepared before providing their testimony in due course, Judge Samba stated.
She reminded the prosecution that it had an ongoing obligation to disclose evidence to the defence and directed the prosecution to complete the disclosure in a timely manner.
The judge has yet to confirm the trial date. The defence and the prosecution had suggested that the case start in March next year.