Family questioned as police probe ICC witness death


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – Criminal Investigation Department Officers on Thursday visited Nandi County to investigate the killing of a witness in a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Meshack Yebei, who was scheduled to testify for Deputy President William Ruto’s defence was found dead in River Yala last Saturday.

Leader of the investigation John Kariuki told a press conference in Turbo that they questioned family members over the death of Yebei in efforts to establish the circumstances of his death.

Kariuki said investigations will still continue and once complete, a report would be released.

“We have come all the way from Nairobi to take over from our counterparts from Eldoret. We are assuring we will handle this matter professionally according to the laws of Kenya. We shall give a professional report at a later date through our CID headquarters; allow us to finish on the side of forensics,” Kariuki told the media.

Yebei’s brother Moses Kisorio said the family was making burial arrangements with expectations that his body will be laid to rest on Saturday.

However, he said despite the burial arrangements, the family had not received any official communication from the police regarding DNA samples of his brother.

However he explained that the family did not see the need for taking his DNA samples since they believed the body recovered belonged to Yebei.

“We have been holding burial meetings; we have planned to do the burial on Saturday. When we saw the body, we saw like it belonged to Meshack. The CID did not officially request us for DNA to be conducted on the body and that’s why we have decided to go ahead with the burial plans,” Kisorio explained.

Police launched investigations into the murder of Yebei after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered for investigations to be carried out.

The family said his body was found floating on River Yala last Saturday after he went missing for about a week. They said he was taking his sick child to hospital when he was abducted.

Deputy president William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan said Yebei was a defence witness and requested for investigations to be done to uncover his killers.

The ICC while condemning the killing said it had offered Yebei a safe place from Turbo but he had turned down the offer.

Through the ICC’s Registry the court said it was also willing to assist Kenya with the investigations.