Kenya court issues warrant for journalist wanted by ICC

Nairobi High Court Judge Richard Mwongo on Wednesday issued a warrant for the arrest and extradition of Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa

Nairobi High Court Judge Richard Mwongo on Wednesday issued a warrant for the arrest and extradition of Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa

NAIROBI – Nairobi High Court Judge Richard Mwongo on Wednesday issued a warrant for the arrest and extradition of Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer charges that he had bribed witnesses in a criminal case against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto.

Under Kenyan law, Barasa can challenge the decision in Kenya's Court of Appeal. If he loses the appeal, he can lodge another appeal with Kenya's Supreme Court, the country's highest legal authority.

Barasa's lawyer, Kibe Mungai, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last October, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Barasa for allegedly tampering with witnesses that had been scheduled to testify against Ruto, who currently faces war crimes charges at The Hague.

Under Article 70 of the Rome Statute, the use of bribes or threats to influence witnesses to change or recant their testimony is a crime.

If found guilty, Barasa could face up to five years in prison, monetary penalties, or both.

Ruto, along with former Kenyan radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang, is currently on trial at The Hague, where he is accused of financing the armed militias that took part in 2007 violence in the Rift Valley in which more than 1100 people were killed.

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