Role of scholar in ICC cases queried
Posted Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 22:30
Former public service boss Francis Muthaura wants international law scholar Makau Mutua investigated over his alleged role in handling witnesses for the International Criminal Court.
Mr Muthaura’s lawyer Karim Khan brought up the issue during the status conference and was asked to make a written submission about the matter.
Mr Khan wants US-based Kenyan law professor investigated as he has displayed “a very worrying and troubling trend in this case and appears as a friend to the prosecution.”
“We also ask the bench to order the prosecution to disclose the role of this individual, Prof Makau Mutua with the office of the prosecution and to detail any and all contact they have had with this person.
“Your honours, I would like to be answered by the prosecution and answer whether or not he (Mutua) is or is not an intermediary and otherwise the nature of the relationship,” Mr Khan told the judges on Tuesday.
He said he would also like to know whether the office of the prosecutor had had any relation with Prof Mutua’s articles published in Kenyan newspapers. (READ: Makau refutes claim of meddling in ICC cases)
This, according to him, would assist the defence to know more about Prof Mutua’s role in the cases. Mr Khan also accused the prosecution of using intermediaries to contact defence witnesses.
He said it was in the public domain that Ugandan activist David Matsanga was being investigated over issues relating to witness tampering.
Judge Christine van den Wyngaert said the chamber was duty-bound to protect the right of the defence as well as the witnesses as stipulated in the Rome Statute.
She said the matter had “nothing to do with the newspapers” and asked Mr Khan to provide facts and details about the matter in writing.
Prosecution lawyer Adesola Adeboyejo said they would respond, within the timelines given by the chamber, if the defence puts the submissions in writing.
Quoting his age, Mr Muthaura, has asked for a speedy trial asking that the trial date be set this year as opposed to his co-accused’s and prosecution’s preference of a 2013 trial.
The prosecution has been rattled by the alleged exposure and tampering of its key witnesses and is preparing new witnesses and has therefore asked for more time.
The defence has questioned the integrity of some of the prosecution witnesses. The prosecution is also tackling the problem of protection of witnesses.