By Kebba Secka
On Friday 23 of April 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber A (Article 70) of the International Criminal Court (ICC), composed of Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, set new date for submission statements to the confirmation of charges in the case against Mr. Paul Gicheru, a Kenya based lawyer and Philip Kipkoech.
According to a media release from ICC, the Chamber will issue its decision on the confirmation of charges within sixty (60) days of receipt of the defence’s reply in accordance with regulation 53 of the Regulations of the Court.
The Judges ordered that the Prosecution shall complete the disclosure of the evidence by 26 April 2021. The Prosecution and the defence shall file their written submissions at least by 30 April 2021. The Prosecution shall file a response on 7 May 2021 and the defence shall also file a reply on 17 May 2021.
ABOUT THE CASE:
Paul Gicheru is charged with offences of administration of justice by corruptly influencing witnesses regarding cases from Kenya. His warrant of arrest was issued under sealed against him and Philip Kipkoech Bett on 10 March 2015 and unsealed on 10 September 2015 for the same offences.
On 2 November 2020, Paul Gicheru surrendered to the authorities of The Netherlands by virtue of arrest warrant for offences against the administration of justice.
On 3 November 2020, Paul Gicheru was surrendered to the ICC custody after the completion of the necessary national proceedings. His first appearance before the Court took place on 6 November 2020 and on 11 December 2020. Pre-Trial Chamber A severed the cases against them (Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett.)
As confirmation of charges procedure is ordered to be conducted in writing, the Prosecutor was asked to file document containing the charges and list of evidence on the 12 of March 2021 while the defence filed its list of evidence on April 2021.
Both parties had to file their written submissions, replacing the confirmation of charges hearing in this case, on 23 of April 2021.
Subsequently, the Prosecutor and the defence may respond to the written submissions respectively on 30 April 2021 and on 7 May 2021. The confirmation of charges proceeding is held to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings of the trial. This is a decision that lies with the trial Chamber.