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Paul Gicheru makes first appearance before the ICC

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Confirmation of charges procedure to be conducted in writing

In the picture, Paul Gicheru appearing before the ICC via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre on 6 November 2020 ©ICC-CPI

On 6 November 2020, Paul Gicheru appeared before Pre-Trial Chamber A of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”), composed of Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, as decided by the President of the Pre-Trial Division in accordance with rule 165(2) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (the “Rules”). Mr Gicheru is suspected of offences against the administration of justice by corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.

The hearing was held in the presence of the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr Gicheru, who represented himself at this hearing, appeared via video-link from the ICC Detention Centre.

The Single Judge verified the identity of the suspect, and ensured that he was clearly informed of the offences against the administration of justice he is alleged to have committed and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC in a language he fully understands and speaks. 

The confirmation of charges procedure will, in principle, be conducted in writing pursuant to rule 165(3) of the Rules. The Single Judge set provisional dates for the procedure. The Prosecution is to file its document containing the charges by 12 February 2021. The Defence may file a list of evidence by 26 February 2021. The parties shall then file written submissions by 15 March; the Prosecution can file its reply to the Defence submissions by 22 March, and the Defence can reply by 29 March 2021.   

Judge Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou of Pre-Trial Chamber A during the initial appearance of Paul Gicheru on 15 June 2020 ©ICC-CPI

The purpose of the confirmation of charges procedure is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the offences against the administration of justice charged. If the charges are confirmed, totally or partly, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

 3 November 2020, Paul Gicheru was surrendered to the custody of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) by the Dutch authorities and arrived at the Court’s detention centre in The Netherlands.  Mr Gicheru, a lawyer formerly based in Kenya, is suspected of offences against the administration of justice consisting in corruptly influencing witnesses of the Court.

Mr Gicheru surrendered to the authorities of The Netherlands on 2 November 2020, pursuant an ICC arrest warrant issued in 2015. He was transferred the next day to the ICC custody after the completion of the necessary national arrest proceedings.  

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