An important witness in the case before the International Criminal Court against Kenya's vicepresident Ruto has been forced to go into hiding, say his lawyers Göran Sluiter and Michiel Pestman.

The witness and his family - all of whom have asylum in the Netherlands - have received serious threats due to a potentially incriminating statement that the witness could make against Mr. Ruto before the International Criminal Court ('ICC'). The witness fears for his life, and the lives of his family members and does not wish to make a statement.

The Dutch investigative judge in The Hague, who has been charged with the implementation of the ICC's request to hear the witness, now threatens to arrest and detain the witness for as long as he chooses not to give testimony.

Counsel Pestman: "Now he and his family are being put in danger by forcing him to talk. This is really unacceptable."

Recent events have shown that the threats directed at the witness are not to be taken lightly. Meshack Yabei, another witness involved in the same case before the ICC, was found dead in a river around New Year's Eve after he had been kidnapped in Kenya. According to local media, his tongue had been cut out and he had been shot through the head.

Click here for an article on Netherlands media outlet (Dutch only).

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