A human rights activist has described the confusion and controversy surrounding ICC witness Meshack Yebei, who is presumed dead, as “a crafted cover-up.”
Speaking in his Eldoret office on Thursday, Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Director Ken Wafula claimed Deputy President William Ruto’s lead counsel, Mr Karim Khan, “was curiously quick to caution”.
Mr Wafula said the counsel asked that a DNA test be carried out a day after a body was found in Yala River a few days after Mr Yebei’s disappearance.
“Khan was very fast to caution and said a DNA test should be done. The question is: Had he seen the body of Yebei to ask for the genetic test?
“He did not see the body at the morgue but doubted if that was actually Yebei’s,” Mr Wafula said.
The activist alleged that two MPs made quick visits to Uganda a day after the discovery of the body.
He, however, did not name the MPs.
Mr Wafula suggested that the Kalenjin way of circumcision should be considered to help in the identification of the body at the Moi Teaching and Referral hospital, which is being claimed by Mr Yebei’s family and that of another missing person, Mr Hussein Yusuf.
“The Kalenjins have a distinct way of circumcising. This should be used to help establish the truth,’’ he added.
That Mr Yusuf’s family did not report the disappearance of their son, Mr Wafula says, “is a coincidence”.
Moreover, Mr Wafula claimed that former ICC witnesses were unhappy because what they had been promised had not been provided.
“There was some arrangement for them to recant (statements) and afterwards what was agreed before they left the court’s side, those favours have not reached them as they had wished,” he claimed.
Mr Wafula alleged that the mysterious disappearance of Mr Yebei was part of the gaps left in the witness protection programme.
“There should be another way of protecting these people. Some are threatening to go back to where they started. They are not happy because the deal did not go well,” Mr Wafula alleged.