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Thursday, October 03, 2013

ICC Big trouble brewing as GOK ignores Barasa arrest warrant for 2 months

Talking to the press Walter Barasa (pictured), the latest fugitive from the ICC looks very relaxed and confident. In fact he does not look too worried about the arrest warrant against him that has been issued from the Hague for an extremely serious offense.

According to Bensouda, Barasa has attempted to bribe at least 3 witnesses, including witness 536.

Ms Bensouda says Mr Barasa offered "to pay her and her husband a total of one million four hundred thousand Kenyan Shillings (KES 1,400,000) in order to influence her to withdraw as a Prosecution witness, committed during the period 20 May to 25 July 2013 and at or near Kampala, Uganda".

Those who know Barasa have been amazed at the transformation of the man in recent months. Barasa is a freelance journalist but is reported to have suddenly been seen in designer suits. As Kenyans like to say; "alipata kazi poa sana."

But what should be of great concern to Kenyans just now is not the sudden "good fortune" of Barasa but the storm brewing over the fact that he was not handed over to the ICC when his arrest warrant was issued 2 months ago. Instead the banana republic which is a signatory to the Rome statute has chosen to play legal acrobatics as revealed when the warrant was made public by the ICC yesterday.

The consequences of this are very grave and will have far-reaching effects on our politics and even security for many years to come. I discuss these consequences in great detail in my latest raw notes published a few minutes ago.
Fascinatingly, every time the ICC fugitive speaks you hear the voice and arguments of the Deputy president. Ruto has been stuck (like an old phonograph record) on the point that the ICC coached witnesses on what to say. He has repeated it so often that a vast majority of Kenyans believe that there was some wrong doing. Legally there is absolutely nothing wrong with prosecutors highlighting to witnesses the parts of their testimony that is most relevant to the case (in this case crimes against humanity). It happens all the time, everywhere in the world.

I cannot resist an interesting aside here. Ruto is an extremely intelligent man and what has been puzzling me for a long time has been his ICC legal strategy. He is facing extremely serious charges that if found guilty would land him in luxurious jail at the Hague for the rest of his life. You would think that he would focus on building his defense with solid evidence to rubbish what the prosecutors have on him . Instead he has been vigorously playing to the gallery constantly requesting the ICC judges for opportunities to address the court. And on landing back in the country telling Kenyans he has already won the case based on what his lawyer said at the ICC the week before.
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Also in my raw notes today
* Latest startling revelations 

on the Westgate tragedy.
================================
 

The judges have now caught on to some of his tactics and have denied him his showbiz moments in court. His lawyer has not done any better. He has been heavy on rhetoric and side shows and his answer to the serious allegations is to criticize the approach the prosecution took in investigating the case.  The other day whilst requesting for Ruto to be allowed to return to Kenya to help deal with the Westgate crisis, the man spend considerable time telling the court about Ruto's 80 year old mother who doesn't understand English and how distressed she is over her son. Probably the kind of tactics that would have had an outside chance of being justified if Ruto was facing a jury made up of ordinary folk. Or if the court decision could be tinkered by sympathy for Ruto. At the ICC with some of the very best legal minds in the world, this behavior is nothing but baffling.

So what is Ruto really up to? You do not want to hear the answer (also in my latest raw notes).
Here is Barasa's statement in full;

STATEMENT BY WALTER BARASA
My full names are Walter Barasa. I am a journalist. I joined the journalism profession in 1985 after finishing my diploma course. I have worked as a journalist for 18 years most of it with the Nation newspaper and then the People daily.
 
Between 1st and 5th December 2012 I was called by somebody who introduced himself to me as an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigator. He introduced himself as Paul Irani. He informed me that he had been given my name and phone number by somebody who was known to me.

He further informed me that he was an ICC investigator and wanted to meet him in Nairobi. He told me to hire a taxi from Eldoret to Nairobi and that he would pay for the taxi once I arrived in Nairobi because the matter he wanted us to discuss was urgent. He paid Ksh 30,000 to the taxi owner upon arrival in Nairobi.

We met at the Westgate Mall in Westlands. He was with another investigator called Ule. I introduced myself. He told me that he wanted me to help them in connection with a lady in Kiambaa and that she was a witness in a case which was earlier conducted in Nakuru. He told me I was a good man and that I should get the lady to confirm what she had told him on phone because he could not travel to Eldoret which he was told was hostile.

He bought a cellphone for me with an Airtel line to take to the lady. I went and met the lady who confirmed that she had talked with Paul Irani. I later confirmed to Irani that I had met the lady. He requested me to get the lady a temporary passport to enable her go to Uganda for interrogation and statement recording.

When the lady came back she told me that she had been a worker at a certain politicians home and that the investigators had told her to say that she was a cook and that she seen planning meetings being held at the politicians home and had cooked for youths and served them with food as they planned to attack the Kiambaa church.

I asked her whether that was actually true but she told me that it was not true because during the time she was employed by the politician she was actually working as a casual labourer planting tree seedlings and sometimes used to harvest maize.

She also told me that she had left that employment five years before but that she had been forced to say that she was cooking and serving food during the period the violence occurred. I encouraged her to confirm to whether she was ready to defend that position. I asked her how as a Kikuyu she could be allowed to get into a planning meeting and cook and serve food to people who were going to kill her relatives. She told me that she had been told to say that so that the case would be strong.

I warned her that she faced the risk of prosecution if it turned out that she was lying. We ended our conversation and she told me that Paul had sent her to tell me to get her a passport. The investigators sent her a total of Ksh 45,500 and a sum of Ksh 6,000 for facilitation making a total of Ksh 51,500 which the lady (536) withdrew and gave me.

We got the passports and she and her family crossed over to Uganda. We cut off communication for some time until I received a call from the lady using a Ugandan number. She told me that her children were not going to school and that life had become very difficult contrary to what she was promised and her husband was very bitter and wanted them to come back to the country.

She told me she did not want to continue with the case and wanted to come back. I later met Paul Irani at Topelli restaurant near Nairobi hospital and informed him about the ladies complaints and warned him that the lady had threatened to abandon the cause. He promised to address the issue. The lady stopped calling me for some time until a time when she called me on a Burundian number. That is when I learnt that she had been moved to Burundi. She was still complaining of poor treatment. She insisted that since I was the one she knew I should assist her get out of Burundi because she did not have money to get her back in the country.

Communication between us went off again and then a week later she called me from a phone whose code was +423 which is the code for DR Congo with the same complaint. She repeated the same thing that she was fed up and wanted me to assist her and her family back. I told her I did not have money but if I get money I could assist her but in the event that I could not manage she had a right to protest, disclose the truth and ask whoever was in charge to return her into the country.

The calls were so many but when I refused to pick she wrote me numerous text messages which I wish to give you where she was stating the same thing. I wish to read you some of the messages. During the course of my acquaintance with Paul Irani I started developing great doubts on the competence of the Office of the Prosecutors (OTP) investigations. I met the investigators severally at various meetings and raised some of these issues:-

i) At one meeting I challenged Paul and one Silvano from Burkina Faso if they would be able to succeed in establishing the truth when they were carrying out armchair investigations in a hotel on the basis of information from people who were known gold diggers roaming the streets of Eldoret after he showed me a list of the names he had lined up as his sources of information and investigation.

ii) I also reminded him that witness 536 had confided in me she was not in the employment of the politician she was alleging she was working for at the time and she had not been a cook. I told him that the same case had been dismissed by the court in Nakuru. He dismissed my concerns and told me to leave him alone.

He tried sending me to find other individuals whose names he gave me. I contacted some of them. I met some of them but I told him that those people were unreliable.

He flew back sometime in February or March this year then on 13th September this year he contacted me on phone and via email asking me to meet him urgently because my life was in danger and he wanted me to leave the country immediately. He suggested that he meets me at The Hague, Uganda or Nairobi as the last option. I agreed to go to Nairobi on 15th September 2013 for the meeting. The email he wrote to me is attached and I wish to read parts of it. I met him with another white man at Topelli restaurant. I expected a cordial meeting but when I arrived at the meeting Paul Irani ordered me to dismantle all my phones. I accepted to do so after quarrelling for over 10 minutes.
Immediately he told me that he had two options for me:-

i) He told me that he knew that I had been working with the Deputy President to coerce and compromise witnesses and that I should cooperate with him and the prosecution and accept to implicate the Deputy President after which we would fly out of the country with him that night because my life was in danger.

ii) Alternatively he was going to engineer and have a warrant of arrest be issued against me and that I could be jailed for five years. But that as a friend he did not want to be jailed and that the best option was for me to implicate the Deputy President.

I was greatly infuriated by these suggestions. I told him that I did not remember the last time I met William Ruto and I told him if I ever met and spoke with Ruto it was way back in 2007 but from then and up to the time I was meeting him I had not met him but he retorted that I had met him after he came from Japan. I told him that those were lies, I could not accept those lies and that he should go ahead and cause the warrants to be issued. I told him that I was ready to stand in any court to refute those lies.

He told me that I was becoming difficult and he was going to arrest me right away. I told him to dare arrest me. I rose from my chair picked my bag and went to the washrooms but when I came out the two called me back. I was extremely fearful and in order to get away from them, I told them that I would get back to them. They gave me Ksh 7,200 for accommodation and transport. They suggested that after I had considered he options I should escape with them to Uganda. I never contacted them again.

I have now heard rumours, which the prosecution should confirm or deny that a warrant of arrest has been issued against me over an alleged interference/prevention of witness number 536 from attending court.

Am ready and prepared to defend myself against these allegations, which are false. I have special knowledge of all the investigators machinations relating to the recruitment of this witness 536 and others and I will not be blackmailed to tell lies. I am aware of the activities of the investigators and what they are doing now and have done in the past.
I respect the court, I respect the rights of the accused persons to a fair hearing, and the victims right to get justice but I do not accept coercion and unorthodox means of implicating accused persons and conducting investigations to attain an unjust end.

I wish to inform you that the conversation of 15th September 2013 was recorded by Irani and I challenge him to produce the entire unedited clip to the court and all concerned. I also recorded parts of the proceedings which I am ready to produce to prove what I am saying.
I have already instructed my advocate Mr Nick Kaufmann to appear for me and bring the above matters to the attention of the court. I attach here to a letter from my advocate.
 
Thank you.
 
Yours faithfully
Walter Barasa.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris,

How did this Barasa guy escape your sharp eyes? Man you are sleeping on the job and we are missing the sizzling exposes.

Kazi kwako.

Anonymous said...

Was there a Terrorist's attack?

Daily press reports seems to suggest as if KDF was attacking GSU!
were there REAL terrorists?

Westgate rumours mill in overdrive as State remains guarded
By CYRUS OMBATI
Nairobi; Kenya: The secrecy that has shrouded the handling of the Westgate terrorist attack continues to raise eyebrows in the public sphere.

Authorities have been guarded with information and even on the few occasions they have come out to address the media, they have left more questions than answers.
Lack of consistent and regular briefings has created room for rumours to swirl. Journalists were kept away in the early stages of the operation – ostensibly for their own safety – but days after the siege ended, access is still denied. Among the worst kept secrets is the massive looting of businesses inside the mall.
Two weeks after heavily armed gunmen stormed the shopping complex, leaving over 60 people dead, a number of questions remain unanswered.
For instance, Kenyans expected to be informed about the identities of the attackers, but this is yet to be done. Police say they are still investigating the incident.
The authorities have also not explained the whereabouts of the bodies of the five terrorists said to have been killed by security agencies. Police informed the public that the first suspect died in hospital as he received treatment from gunshot wounds.
An AK47 rifle was recovered from him during the Saturday evening clash, hours after the attack was staged.
Details of the said weapon are yet to be made public but there are claims that it belongs to one of the Kenyan security agencies.
More than a week after foreign experts joined the probe, no results have been made public as promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who pledged that the world would be informed on the progress of the investigations.
FBI agents – along with investigators from Britain, Canada, Israel and Germany – are here to investigate the crime scene.

Anonymous said...

Barasa is innocent. Let him go to the Hague and prove it. I am very sure he will succeed.

Bensouda is just envious about his fine appearance, nice suits and beautiful spectacles.

Anonymous said...

A country of innocent people.

Anonymous said...

Come Baby come. Hague is waiting, dont be vague. Go and tell them your story about Dr Irani. We dont want to hear it. Njust ngo.

that kim said...

u do know that if those people are arrested everyone even you utaumia sana.... imagine wat KDF will do to this country especially after we saw what happened at Westgate

Anonymous said...

Uk's family has too much wealth abroad. This makes it very hard for him to skip ICC!. Stakes are very high indeed

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