The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has halted the planned release of 120 prisoners by President Uhuru Kenyatta, under the Power of Mercy bestowed on him.
Sunday Nation reported that the DCI intervened after revelations that some of the individuals on the list are hardcore criminals.
The revelations emerged after detectives conducted a fingerprint analysis of the prisoners enlisted for pardon.
In a letter sent to Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang'i, the DCI revealed that a majority of the offences committed by those on the list were capital in nature.
“As a law enforcement agency, we have noted with concern that most convicted criminals find their way back to the society where they continue to commit crimes in an even more atrocious manner,” cited the DCI.
The convicts, some with 22 straight convictions, are among inmates who were scheduled to be released under the Power of Mercy bestowed upon the president as per the 2010 Constitution of Kenya.
The DCI is investigating claims of bribery, which could be the reason some of the hardcore criminals made it to the list.
67 of those on the clemency list are from Naivasha Maximum Security Prison, six from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, eight from Embu Prison, 14 from Nyeri Maximum Security Prison and nine from Eldoret Main Prison, among others.
The DCI now wants the current Power of Mercy Committee to include representatives from the DCI, National Intelligence Service (NIS), Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the Ministry of Interior and Government Coordination, among other relevant agencies, to scrutinise deserving cases of convicts that can be pardoned under the Power of Mercy.
The nine-member committee that advises the president on the release of prisoners was inaugurated in May 2018, and is chaired by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki. Other include CS Matiang’i, and seven other members who are not state officers or in public service.
They are Jerim Oloo, Dr Scholastica Nangila Adeli, David Ng’ang’a Macharia, Richard Mativu, Dr Joan Nyanyuki, Abdi Mohamud Hassan and Dr Janet Chepng’eno Kirui.
Before the list gets to the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee, prison authorities directly recommended inmates for pardon.
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