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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Prakken d'Oliveira, formerly known as Böhler, is a law firm with expertise and experience in asylum and immigration law, European law, administrative law, international criminal law and human rights. Our lawyers provide advice and conduct procedures before the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Dutch Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD), the District- and Appeals courts, the Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), the Human Rights Treaty Bodies of the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and other international tribunals.