Paul Gicheru, a Kenyan lawyer who surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) early this month, has engaged the services of a top US attorney who will represent him in a case where he is accused of obstruction of justice.

Gicheru had earlier indicated that he would represent himself in the case where he is accused of interfering with prosecution witnesses during the 2008 post-election violence case.

He informed the ICC’s Counsel Support Section, that he will now be represented by Michael G Karnavas, an American lawyer who has over 33 years of experience.

Karnavas is a graduate of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the George Washington University.

He has previously represented politicians accused of war crimes at the ICC for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

In addition, Karnavas was the lead counsel for Jadranko Prlic, a former Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg Bosnia from 1993 to 1996.

In May 2013, Prlic was sentenced to 25 years by the International Criminal Tribunal for war crimes against Bosniaks during the Croat–Bosniak War.

Paul Gicheru surrendered to the authorities of The Netherlands pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court.

The advocate, alongside Philip Kipkoech Bett, were accused of obstruction of justice in the case against Deputy President William Ruto. 

The two have spent years in the Kenyan courts seeking to quash their extradition.

The cases against Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta were dropped due to insufficient evidence and alleged witness tampering.

However, the court refused to acquit them, with the ICC Prosecutor’s office promising to revive the cases if and when new evidence emerged.