JOURNALIST Walter Barasa who is wanted by ICC originally worked with the Hague based court to look for witnesses against Deputy President William Ruto.
After Barasa differed with the ICC, he switched to working with a network of people working behind the scenes to encourage witnesses to recanted their statements.
Yesterday Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku announced that he had passed on the ICC arrest warrant for Barasa to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga so that the courts can handle it.
According to multiple sources, Barasa, 41 years, began working for the International Criminal Court in 2012 around Eldoret as an intermediary for investigators collecting evidence for the post election violence cases.
The ICC investigators needed individuals who knew the Rift Valley and understand how the post election violence occurred.
One investigator approached several journalists to serve as intermediaries supporting the ICC.
Some journalists rejected offers to work with the ICC but eventually they struck a deal with Barasa.
â€œBarasaâ€™s work would mainly be to get in touch with people who had been identified to be witnesses and then convince them to be put under protection in or out of the country in readiness to give evidence before the ICC,â€ said a source.
After agreeing with the witnesses, Barasa would help arrange their travel documents like passports so that they could travel to the Hague when the case started.
Barasa reportedly handled more than ten witnesses for the ICC and helped move the witnesses out of Kenya to other East African countries for safety.
â€œHe would be sent to those countries to locate areas where the witnesses were to be put under protection,” said one source.
Barasa linked up with several civil society groups who had also helped the ICC carry out its investigations.
NGO sources indicated that the agreement between Barasa and the ICC was on casual terms and he was paid according to the work he did.
The ICC paid him through allowances for travel costs and other needs. He reportedly could get between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000 for a single operation like helping a witness to get travel documents.
Around June, Barasa started to disagree with the ICC over payments.
However some operatives heard that Barasa was unhappy and and approached him to help bring back the witnesses due to testify at the ICC.
He continued to work with the ICC although he was suspected of dealing with individuals interested in having the witnesses refuse to testify.
The ICC investigators were reportedly caught by surprise when some witnesses did not arrive at the Hague at the start of Ruto and Sangâ€™s trial in September.
Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda immediately dispatched a team to the areas in Kenya where the witnesses were to living to find out what had gone wrong.
The investigators led by Paul Ilani met Barasa and reportedly disagreed hotly. He was cautioned that a warrant of arrest would be issued against him for attempting to bribe witnesses.
The warrant was issued secretly in August but was made public last week.
Yesterday Peter Murigi Macharia, a TNA media officer during the last election, send out a “profile of ICC double agent Walter Baraza containing the hard facts about his involvement with the ICC.”
The document was prepared by a lobby group called African Forum on ICC which is based in Chester House on Koinange Street, Nairobi.
The document claims that the ICC wanted Barasa to work with them to “implicate” Ruto as they had realised that he was tampering with witnesses.
Barasa was apparently angered by insinuations that he was working with Ruto.
“He told them that the last time he met the Deputy President was in 2007. Ilani told him that they were aware that he met the DP after he came back from Japan. Barasa dared them to instigate any warrant of arrest against him and that he was ready to face them before the ICC,” said the document prepared by the lobby group.
The document says that Barasa was in touch with a lady witness who was in Uganda, Burundi and Congo under ICC protection but who sought his help to leave the witness protection programme.
-source, The Star Newspaper, Kenya.