Goran Sluiter, the lawyer of witness 727 who has persistently refused to testify fearing his safety has claimed the deportation of an alleged spy from Kenya has ‘shocked’ his client.
â€œThis is shocking. It raises more concerns about the Kenyan cases. All kinds of things are happening in Kenya, and now they are happening in the Netherlands as well,â€ says Sluiter.
The Dutch embassy in Nairobi confirms that a Kenyan government official was arrested at Amsterdamâ€™s Schiphol Airport last week. â€œThe man was carrying false papers,â€ says the first secretary at the Dutch Embassy, Stijn Janssen. He did not enter the Netherlands but was imprisoned, released and sent back to Nairobi. The Kenyan embassy in The Hague refused to comment on the issue.
According to the Daily Nation, the NIS officer in question tried to meet an ICC witness in the Netherlands last week. The ICC security team and Dutch security agents had been closely monitoring the witness and the officer.
Although Dutch lawyer Goran Sluiter says he canâ€™t confirm that the spy tried to contact his client, Witness 727 is probably the last Kenyan ICC prosecution witness who is set to testify. 727 is hiding in the Netherlands. He is refusing to testify following serious intimidation.
Risk of death
According to Sluiter, ICC suspects should be held in detention to prevent witness intimidation. â€œSuspects of serious crimes are being treated so well, they are not even imprisoned. There is a huge risk of them fleeing. Also thereâ€™s a risk of influencing, intimidating and even killing witnesses.â€
â€œItâ€™s clear that ICC has fully underestimated these cases,â€ Sluiter says. â€œIf the Kenyan trails would have been calm and quiet, it might have been the right treatment. But now the ICC is ruled by fear of Kenya and the African Union. They should step up action against suspects.â€
His sentiments are echoed by Miaina Kiai, the former chairman of Kenyaâ€™s National Human Rights Commission during the 2007/8 post-election violence. â€œItâ€™s not surprising that witnesses have said we donâ€™t want to do thisâ€, Kiai said in an interview with The Hague Trials Kenya.
Many (possible) witnesses are said to have been intimidated in the ICC Kenyan trials against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang.