The International Criminal Court has announced that its Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan has recused himself from Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru’s case.
“Office of the Prosecutor advised the Chamber that the current Prosecutor has recused himself from the proceedings in this case, pursuant to article 42(7) of the Statute,” the statement from his office said.
Instead, his Deputy Prosecutor James Kirkpatrick Stewart will perform all the acts that the Prosecutor would have to carry out in the present case, pursuant to Article 42(2) of the Statute.
Article 42(7) of the Statute states that neither the Prosecutor nor a Deputy Prosecutor shall participate in any matter in which their impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground.
It continued that they shall be disqualified from a case in accordance with this paragraph if, inter alia, they have previously been involved in any capacity in that case before the Court or in a related criminal case at the national level involving the person being investigated or prosecuted.
The new prosecutor became a familiar figure in Kenya following his representation of Deputy President William Ruto in ICC when he was mentioned among the people who took part in the crimes against humanity during the 200/2008 Post Election Violence.
Ruto’s case was however dismissed by the court in 2016 following insufficient evidence tabled by the prosecution side.
The Court found that Gicheru has a case to answer after former Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda argued that he was criminally responsible, as a direct perpetrator, co-perpetrator or accessory, for a concerted campaign of witness interference in the case of The Prosecutor vs William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang.
However, through his lawyer Michael Karnavas, the lawyer termed the claims by the prosecution as “absurd” and “nonsense”.
Bensouda had asked the court to reject Gicheru’s request to dismiss seven witnesses in his case.