Kenyan journalist wanted by ICC fails to block arrest warrant

Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa leaves after a court session at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, where he filed an application to stop his arrest and being handed over to the International Criminal Court, October 9, 2013. REUTERS/Gregory Olando

A Kenyan journalist is accused of trying to bribe witnesses.

A Kenyan court has refused to block the arrest of a journalist wanted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly trying to payoff witnesses in the crime-against-humanity case against the country’s deputy president, William Ruto.

Walter Barasa is accused by the ICC of allegedly trying to bribe prosecution witnesses in the case. The ICC ordered his arrest in October 2013.

Mr. Barasa has denied the charges, and had asked the court to declare the warrant against him invalid.

The Kenyan court said Mr. Barasa could now be arrested by Kenya’s Internal Security Ministry, and extradited to The Hague-based ICC.

The journalist however has two weeks to appeal the decision. If convicted, Mr. Barasa could face a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

In reaching the decision Friday, Judge Richard Mwongo said Mr. Barasa failed to demonstrate how his constitutional rights will be violated, or the likelihood that he would suffer oppression and discrimination if arrested.

Vice President Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta are prosecuted by the ICC for their alleged roles in the post-election violence that gripped Kenya in 2007.

There have been issues over the timing for Mr. Kenyatta’s appearance.


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