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Lawyer accused of bribing witnesses in ICC case denies allegations

Ruto was charged with fomenting violence after the disputed 2007 election.   -  
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BRIAN ONGORO/AFP or licensors


A lawyer denied accusations by the ICC of bribing witnesses in the case against Kenyan deputy president William Ruto.

Ruto was charged with fomenting violence after a disputed 2007 election when 1,200 people died. But the case collapsed 4 years ago.

It is the lawyer Paul Gicheru's first appearance at the Hague since he turned himself in.

He allegedly corruptly influenced prosecution witnesses to recant their testimony by paying bribes of up to one million Kenyan shillings

"The allegations read out to me are not true, they are false," said Gicheru, who was appearing by videolink from the court's detention centre due to coronavirus rules.

Gicheru told the court that his surrender to the court "was a voluntary surrender, there was no threat, there was no coercion."

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda blamed a relentless campaign of victim intimidation for making a trial impossible.

Bensouda called on Kenya Wednesday to hand over two other men suspected of interfering with prosecution witnesses.

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