One of the major suspects in Kenya's post-election chaos, former minister William Ruto, is on the offensive, saying evidence against him is fabricated. Ruto's comments come shortly after a trip to The Hague where he met with international prosecutors to discuss his role in the violence.
Higher education minister William Ruto, in Nairobi, Kenya (File Photo)
At a press conference in the Kenyan Parliament, the former higher education minister addressed accusations linking him to election violence that left more than 1,000 dead in 2007 and 2008.
Ruto, who has been named in two separate Kenyan inquiries and is a target of an investigation by the International Criminal Court, accused Kenyan Human Rights Chief Hassan Omar of paying witnesses to implicate Ruto.
In addressing the issue, Ruto posed a series of questions to the media.
"Question Number One: Did Mr. Hassan go to Eldoret to assemble witnesses whom he knew very well had they been coached to make certain statements in the Waki and the Kenya Commission on Human Rights Reports? Question Number Two: Has he been paying those so called 'witnesses' money? Did he promise them that they would live in foreign capitals if they perpetuated the falsehoods they had been coached to say?"
Ruto questions the veracity of statements given to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights during its investigation into the election violence. Though he repeatedly raised the issue of bribery on the part of Omar, Ruto did not provide evidence to support his claims.
Reporters asking for details of Hassan's alleged bribes were simply ignored by Ruto or dismissed as supporters of his political enemies.
Ruto's comments come just one day after he returned from The Hague to give a statement on the violence to the International Criminal Court.
Kenya's daily Nation reported most of the Minister's time was spent responding to allegations listed in reports by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Waki Commission, which was established in 2008 to investigate the violence.
The KNHCR report listed Ruto as one of the major figures who helped plan, finance and execute the chaos. Ethnic violence tore across Kenya after President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused each other of fraud in the December 2007 poll. More than 300,000 were displaced by the violence. Many are still without homes to this day.