Did Kenyan Lawyer Paul Gicheru Submit This Statement to the ICC?

By  Sylvia Makinia

An article was published on Opera News with a witness statement allegedly written by a Kenyan lawyer, Paul Gicheru, and submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The article quotes the document, which was posted on Twitter by blogger Lord Abraham Mutai and on Facebook by Arap Sang on November 3, a day after Mr Gicheru turned himself in to the ICC.

The document, using the ICC’s letterhead, is titled: “Witness statement, Paul Gicheru, taken at the International Criminal Court at 02–11–2020 18:05 HRS”.

In the statement, Mr Gicheru allegedly admits to bribing and influencing witnesses who were set to testify in the trial against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, whom the lawyer represented. The statement makes the further claim that Mr Gicheru acted under orders from Mr Ruto, adding that his life is in danger and that he requests asylum.


On March 10, 2015, the ICC issued a warrant for the lawyer’s arrest under seal, meaning this was withheld from the public and only accessible to specific people authorised by the court. The warrant, for Mr Gicheru’s alleged role in bribing several prosecution witnesses to recant their testimony in the case against DP Ruto, was unsealed on September 10, 2015.

Mr Gicheru surrendered to the authorities in The Netherlands on November 2, 2020, and was transferred to ICC custody on November 3, after completing arrest proceedings.

PesaCheck reached out to ICC’s head of public affairs unit to confirm the authenticity of the purported witness statement. In response, Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah confirmed that the alleged witness statement was false and the ICC letterhead used was fabricated.

“We urge caution regarding any document alleging to originate from the ICC that is not issued through one of the ICC’s official platforms or confirmed by the court as being official,” the ICC spokesperson told PesaCheck.

He added that all official documents pertaining to Mr Gicheru’s case are published online in the ICC’s court records. While the ICC has published several other official documents related to the lawyer’s case since then, PesaCheck confirmed that there was no witness statement published on November 2, as claimed in the document.

Mr Gicheru made his first appearance in court on November 6, 2020.


PesaCheck has looked into the document being circulated online as a witness statement written by Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru and submitted to the ICC and finds it to be FALSE.


This story was produced by PesaCheck in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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