BY OLIVER MATHENGE, JOHN BETT AND FELIX OLICK for the STAR
FOUR witnesses linked to the ICC post-election violence probe are missing from their homes in Uasin Gishu County.
This came to light yesterday as human rights groups claimed there was a vast plot to cover up the Meshack Yebei murder.
Yebeiâ€™s family at the same time questioned the need for a DNA test, as demanded by Deputy President William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan, insisting they had positively identified the remains.
â€œWe do not see the need for DNA, and no one has approached us for such a procedure so far. In any case, we wonder what itâ€™s for. We want to bury him either on Saturday or latest Tuesday,â€ said Ben Yebei, Meshackâ€™s brother, in a telephone interview yesterday.
He said Meshack had told his family members details of his activities, but he never indicated he was to be a witness at The Hague.
Human rights activist Ken Wafula named the four missing witnesses as he insisted that Yebei was not a defence witness. They include Yohana Kimng’etich Bureti, Benjamin Kipchumba and Phillip Arusei.
The fourth was identified only as Miriam, and as the latest to go missing.
â€œWe want to know where these people are. Can the State tell us where they are? Who is killing innocent people?â€ Wafula asked, adding that some human rights activists and journalists were also being targeted for elimination.
At The Hague last week, after news of Yebeiâ€™s disappearance broke, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda applied to have one of her star witnesses against Ruto and journalist Joshua Sangâ€™ testify in camera.
In Nairobi, the activists spoke only a day after the CID was asked by the Ruto defence and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to investigate the Yebei murder mystery.
Sources within the defence also disclosed that Yebei was one of their critical witnesses and a link to a number of activists in the alleged coaching of witnesses.
Wafula said the police had done nothing about the four missing people.
He also said Meshack had named a number of people who had threatened him and that their identities made it clear he could not have been a defence witness.
â€œFor Khan to claim that Yebei was a defence witness is a lie. Itâ€™s part of a grand plan to cover up the truth on this matter,â€ he said.
Wafula said the demand for a DNA test was part of the scheme to hide the truth by manipulating the results to indicate the body at the mortuary was not Yebeiâ€™s.
He insisted the claims about Meshack having been a defence witness were being made late because the truth about the death was about to be exposed.