NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
An International Criminal Court (ICC) witness who
went missing late last year in northwest Kenya was not under the
protection of the State agency in charge of protecting witnesses
testifying in high value cases.
Alice Ondieki, Director
of the Witness Protection Agency, told reporters on Friday that
Meshack Yebei was not enlisted in the state funded witness
"I wish to clarify that contrary to erroneous reports
circulating in the local media, Yebei was not under our
"The law does not oblige us to offer protection to
witnesses testifying in foreign courts," Ondieki said in
The disappearance of Meshack Yebei triggered a flurry of
conflicting statements from his family, the office of the
prosecutor at the ICC and the Kenyan government.
It was alleged that Yebei was a critical witness in the
ongoing case against Kenyan Deputy President, William Ruto, at
The Hague based court.
Ruto’s defense maintained that Yebei was their key witness
and alleged that the ICC Office of the Prosecutor could have
been involved in his abduction and death.
CID investigator John Kariuki later established that
fingerprints of the body, which was reportedly Yebei’s,
match that of a man in Western Kenya identified as Yusuf
Hussein’s family said in Eldoret that the police informed
them that the fingerprints collected from the body match
Hussein disappeared during the Christmas season from his home
in Nandi in Rift Valley.
Kariuki however said further DNA samples of the Kaimosi
family that has positively identified the body will be taken to
confirm if the body is that of Hussein.
The prosecution had denied any involvement in Yebei’s
death and clarified it had severed links with him over
Lawmakers from the ruling coalition joined the fray and
alleged that a human rights activist from Rift Valley and
the ICC’s prosecution office were behind Yebei’s death.
Director of Public Prosecution last week ordered the
Director of Criminal Investigations to commence a thorough
probe on circumstances leading to Yebei’s death.
Kenya’s witness protection agency refuted allegations that it
ignored pleas to offer a safe haven to Yebei.
The agency’s director said high value ICC witnesses and their
families had been accorded state security since 2008.