Judge jails DCI, claims life in danger

Friday, November 19th, 2021 00:00 |
High Court Judge Anthony Mrima delivering a ruling at a Milimani court. Photo/PD/Charles Mathai

A High Court judge yesterday sentenced the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti, to a four-month jail term for contempt.

 Justice Anthony Mrima jailed Kinoti without an option of a fine for failing to obey a court order, requiring him to return firearms belonging to businessman Jimi Wanjigi.

The judge, who now claims that his life is in danger, ordered that Kinoti surrenders himself to the officer in charge of Kamiti Maximum Prison, within a period of seven days to serve the sentence.

Remain valid

 “In the event that Kinoti fails to avail himself as ordered, a warrant of arrest will be issued.

The warrant shall be executed by the Inspector General of Police,” ruled the judge.

He warned that should the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai fail to execute the warrant, the same shall remain valid and be executed even after Kinoti leaves office.

The sentencing was as a result of Kinoti’s failure to present himself in court in person on September 27, 2021, following summons.

The judge noted that it was clear that Kinoti was not going to obey court orders, terming his conduct as the ‘height of impunity’.

“In other words, he stayed put and waited to see what the court will do to him in the face of his outright defiance.

Instead of addressing the court on why he should not be sentenced, he opted to revisit the spent contempt application,” Mrima said.  

During the hearing, Kinoti had informed the court that he was aware that Wanjigi’s firearm licence was revoked by the Firearms Licencing Board and not by his office and Wanjigi should pursue the matter from the Chief Firearm Licensing Board.

Kinoti is accused of disobeying orders issued in January 2019 directing the DCI, Inspector General of Police and the DPP to return all firearms and ammunition taken from Wanjigi’s residence in 2017. 

Speaking in Kiambu yesterday, Wanjigi hailed the High Court for the ruling, noting that the court had proved that nobody is above the law.

“Every single Kenyan, there is no exception and those who think that these are the days of impunity should read the Constitution of this country which was passed in 2010,” he said.

Speaking while sentencing Kinoti, Justice Mrima  said he had been threatened by some senior State officers for allegedly making unfavourable rulings against the State.

He did not however reveal the nature of the “unfavourable” rulings, only stating that an “emissary” had been sent to him with one clear message: That he should stop being personal and cease to issue ‘unfavourable orders’.

“Recently I handled a matter and issued some orders. The orders were directed towards some senior State officers.

I was surprised to be approached by an emissary sent by one of the said Sate officers,” Mrima said.

He told the court that the emissary warned him that he would be dealt with firmly, using many other processes at their disposal if he did not go slow.

He recalled that during the last election cycle, he handled an election petition where several emissaries were sent to him, with instructions on the manner in which he was to determine the election petition. 

Heed to directives

When he failed to heed to the directives, he said his house was raided. 

He said: “My house was burgled. It was ransacked. Things were thrown all over. Save for a safe which was carried away, everything else was left in the house.”

Mrima said he chose to share the threats not out of fear but to affirm his position, that he will uphold the oath of office.

Among the controversial rulings Mrima has delivered in the recent past include the one where he reversed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to transfer the Kenya Meat Commission from Agriculture ministry to the Defence ministry.

On September 23, Mrima also declared Uhuru’s decision to appoint and include Major General Mohamed Badi into Cabinet meetings as illegal.

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