Kenyan denies ICC witness intimidation accusation

2013-10-02 14:40
Deputy President William Ruto. (AFP)

Deputy President William Ruto. (AFP)

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Nairobi - A Kenyan ex-journalist accused of witness intimidation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing.

"I have not violated any law... Why should I be arrested?" Walter Barasa told AFP, after The Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant for him.

Barasa, 41, is accused of trying to bribe witnesses in the crimes against humanity trial of Deputy President William Ruto.

He is a former journalist who has worked for Mediamax Network Ltd, a holding company owned by the family of President Uhuru Kenyatta, and which includes national television and radio stations.

Mediamax said on Wednesday that they no longer employed Barasa.

"It [the warrant] just follows the threats I was given by one of the [ICC] investigators whom I know very well," Barasa told AFP on Wednesday as he travelled to Nairobi from his base in Eldoret, about 320km northwest of the capital, in Kenya's Rift Valley.

He said he would address a press conference in Nairobi.

"He was telling me that I should admit that I was being sent by the Deputy President, and I told him I have never met the Deputy President," Barasa added. "I told him to go ahead and issue the warrant."

Barasa said he had not been involved in the violence that followed the disputed 2007 presidential election.

Both Ruto and Kenyatta are facing crimes against humanity trials at the ICC for their alleged role in the violence, which left more than 1 100 dead and drove several hundred thousand from their homes.

Ruto's trial opened in September in the Hague. Kenyatta's is due to start 12 November.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  william ruto  |  kenya  |  east africa

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