African Press International (API)

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Uhuru Kenyatta’s day in ICC: My humble submission, he should not testify

Posted by African Press International on September 15, 2011

By Korir, Chief editor API

The International Criminal Court is not a local court in Africa where a witness, if voluntarily gives evidence, is considered “not having anything to hide”. After sitting and watching the ICC prosecutors for eight days in the Ruto, Kosgey and Sang Confirmation of charges hearing, I realised that the way they question witnesses is so friendly, but are able tactfully to expose a person to the greatest danger impossible to survive thereafter.

Very polite, and good but very tactical prosecutors who use tactical methods to get into the witness making her or him to feel comfortable in court first, before hitting hard to the extent that the witness reveals weaknesses that the prosecutors later use during their closing arguments.

Wisdom does not guide me if I say Hon Uhuru Kenyatta should allow himself to be cross-examined, because those young American prosecutors are really good in cleverly twisting questions to the witnesses using CIA methods.

When dealing with Uhuru Kenyatta, the young charming prosecutors (ladies) will be soft in the beginning, only to turn around, and make sure they make Uhuru Kenyatta emotional and angry, thereby possibly exposing his weaknesses to the court. And if they manage that, they will have achieved their goal – to push the witness into a corner forcing him to get angry publicly and most probably say inappropriate things in front of the Judges, leading the  Judges to believe that the witness is taking the responsibility for the 2007/208 post-election chaos in Kenya.

According to the Kenya media, experts differ on what Uhuru Kenyatta should do. His lawyers may have advised their client to do so, knowing what good it will do. These are lawyers who are acquainted with the ICC process. The Standard Media Writes, “Lawyer Peter Kaluma, argued confirmation hearing was not the right stage for a suspect to take the witness box, as he risks “exposing himself”.

I agree with him on this.

Experts have said theirs. Some think it is a good idea while others say Uhuru Kenyatta’s willingness to allow himself to be cross-examined is suicidal.

The final decision, however, is Kenyatta’s and his counsels.  According to the Daily Nation of Kenya many are advising him not to take the stand. Lawyer Paul Mwangi is quoted saying it is premature, unwise and dangerous for him to do so, since he has not seen what the prosecution has. He only knows very little of the prosecution’s case because the prosecution has not been forthcoming in sharing of all documents..

According to the Daily Nation the lawyer says he is opening himself up for cross-examination and that is risky because he will have no control over the questions that he will be confronted with by the prosecution, the Judges and the lawyer representing the victims.

Uhuru may say things that might contradict his line of defence in the future if the case goes to full trial. He may also say things that might prove politically costly relating to violence in some parts of Kenya, such as the Rift Valley province where he will need votes when he seeks the presidency in 2012.




uhuru kenyatta, american prosecutors, election chaos, witness box, and international criminal court.



5 Responses to “Uhuru Kenyatta’s day in ICC: My humble submission, he should not testify”

  1. Bishop patrick Maithya said

    I was very pleased by Hon.Uhuru the way he behaved in the court of icc He proved innocent and spoke his heart. He appeared to know very well the structure of the Government of kenya.He appeared a man who is very sound in answering questions.Surely uhuru is a leader


  2. Felani said

    Mr. Korir,

    I’m certain that UK’s performance today must have changed your mind. Unlike previous live-witnesses, he never wavered from his story or helped the prosecution in their futile fishing expedition.


    • I am very happy he handled the testimony well. The prosecutor was defeated! The fear I had is the way the prosecution tend to play and humiliate witnesses and one can easily be angered and into outburst. This did not happen because Uhuru had prepared himself very well.


  3. Mwangi said

    Am i glad you were wrong. ps in court, there’s nothing like ” interrogation using CIA methods” lets not confuse real life with the movies. thank you


    • I am glad the witness was not humiliated and it worked well. Uhuru deserves congratulation on the way he handled his testimony. My fear was the way the prosecution tend to humiliate witnesses. One can analyse things and situations wrong and I accept that this time I was not right, but at the same time I say it is wise to execise caution.


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