EXCLUSIVE: DPP Haji Speaks on DCI Kinoti's 4-Month Sentence

  • Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji (R) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti after a Committee meeting with the Multi-Agency team on Corruption at Parliament.
    Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji (R) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti after a Committee meeting with the Multi-Agency team on Corruption at Parliament on January 25, 2019
    The Standard
  • Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has spoken out after the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti was sentenced to four months in prison.

    In a sit-down with Kenyans.co.ke on Saturday, November 20, on the sidelines of the editors' sensitisation workshop between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and Kenya Editors Guild (KEG), the DPP noted that Kinoti should have been given a chance to defend himself.

    The High Court sitting in Nairobi sentenced the top sleuth to a four-month jail term at the Kamiti Maximum Prison on Thursday, November 18, for contempt of court.

    When asked whether, in his opinion, he thought the DCI boss would serve the jail term, he noted that Kinoti was highly likely to appeal the case.

    DPP Noordin Haji Speaks to Editors during a conference at Serena Hotel in Mombasa.
    DPP Noordin Haji Speaks to Editors during a conference at Serena Hotel in Mombasa.
    ODPP

    "I think he should be given an opportunity to explain his position. I am not part of the Judiciary but I think he is going to appeal," stated the DPP.

    Kinoti was sent to prison after the court found him guilty of contempt after failing to return a firearm confiscated from businessman and presidential hopeful Jimi Wanjigi.

    On Saturday, a suit was filed before Justice Antony Kimani seeking to shield the DCI boss from arrest. Kinoti, however, denied instructing the law firm to file the suit seeking to overturn the ruling by High Court Judge Antony Mrima.

    Sonko leaks

    In the wide-ranging interview, DPP Haji also addressed varying topics including former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's leaks, cases filed against him as well as his experience in the office.

    In recent weeks, three cases (including one that has since been withdrawn) were filed seeking to have Haji ejected from office. The complainants claimed that the DPP had tried to usurp his constitutional mandate.

    Haji, however, explained that the charges levelled against him were 'frivolous, repetitive and wanting.'

    "Defence lawyers saw that I am working and they brought frivolous charges. They have raised issues that are non-starters," remarked the DPP - noting that he was ready to serve the public.

    He further explained that since he joined the ODPP, which was ranked by Senior Counsel Kioko Kilukumi as the most powerful government office, he has worked diligently to ensure that resources are availed to aide prosecutors carry out their mandate to the public.

    Haji revealed that when he joined, the resources were scarce and some prosecutors lacked resources as basic as pens and documents.

    "I found that prosecutors did not have basic things like pens and documents.  When I joined, I set out to ensure that resources are availed for all," he stated.

    Today, his office is handling over 20 high profile cases including the Arror and Kimwarer dam scandal (set for hearing between November 22 and November 25, 2021), pretrial for Evans Kidero (set to begin on Dec 10, 2021), National Youth Service scandal (hearing begins February 22, 2022) and the National Health Insurance Fund (Hearing slated for November 23, 2021).

    Some of the cases had been delayed due to numerous complexities including several concurrent petitions in the case for NYS scandal and Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) involved in the Arror and Kimwarer case which has over 30 boxes of documentation.

    Nevertheless, the no-nonsense DPP noted that he was ready to take on most cases for the public good.

    For instance, he says that he is ready to prosecute judges named in former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's exposé. The former county boss claimed that some judges had taken bribes worth millions before making their ruling.

    Haji confirmed that the matter is still in the court of the investigating agencies and that he would act on the file once it is forwarded to his office. He added that proper investigations were paramount due to rampant cases of digital manipulation.

    "Proper investigations should be carried out. You know there is a lot of digital manipulation that can be done. If it is a matter of misconduct, it lies under the judiciary but we can prosecute a criminal case.

    "I presume that the DCI has started its investigations," he divulged.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome, in a November 18 press address, announced that she would be meeting with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to discuss the exposé before giving the next course of action.

    During the conference, the DPP also announced that his office was an open book ready for scrutiny but maintained that he would defend its independence.

    “As the ODPP we are subjecting ourselves to oversight through internal and external oversight mechanisms. We communicate regularly to the public, but we also welcome any measures to further hold us to account, within the ambit of the law.

    “Despite a lot of opposition and side talks within and without, we as the only constitutionally mandated prosecution service will continue to strive for our independence,” he added

    He further explained that he would not rush to take cases to court to collapse until concrete evidence is provided.

    An undated photo of Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji
    An undated photo of Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji
    (COURTESY)
    criminal arrest