Police probe witness killing in Kenyan VP's trial

2015-01-07 08:48
Kenyan Vice President William Ruto. (AFP)

Kenyan Vice President William Ruto. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenyan prosecutors have ordered an investigation into the murder of a witness in the International Criminal Court trial of Kenyan Vice President William Ruto, who is accused of masterminding post-election killings in 2007.

Meshack Yebei, described by Ruto's lawyer as a "critical" witness for the politician's defence case, was found dead - and badly mutilated according to some reports - on 4 January in western Kenya's Nandi district.

Kenya's Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered the probe in a letter to police seen by AFP. The order calls for a "speedy and thorough investigation to be conducted into the murder with a view of bringing those responsible to justice."

Yebei disappeared on 28 December and a week later the local businessman's decomposed body was discovered in a river.

Matter of grave concern

Ruto has been on trial at The Hague-based ICC since September 2013 on charges of organising post-election violence in the east African country in 2007-2008. More than 1 200 people died and 600 000 were displaced in the chaos.

But both Ruto and co-defendant Joshua Arap Sang, a radio presenter, have denied all charges.

Ruto's lawyer, Karim Khan, said in a letter seen by AFP that Yebei was a "critical witness to the defence" and had been referred to the ICC witness protection unit.

He added that "news of his apparent abduction and murder is both shocking to us and a matter of grave concern".

Khan also called for DNA tests to confirm the identity of the corpse, saying it was "important for us that the facts and circumstances of his alleged killing be fully investigated".

Kenya's ICC investigations have been littered with allegations of witness intimidation, bribery and false testimony.

Charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta were dropped last month after the ICC prosecutor was ordered to strengthen or abandon the case.

Kenyatta maintained his innocence throughout and reacted by saying his conscience was "absolutely clear" regarding the post-election killings, the worst in Kenya's history since winning independence from Britain in 1963.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.