Judiciary protects rogue staff from punishment, claims Haji
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has launched an attack on the Judiciary accusing it of shielding errant judges and magistrates from punishment for unlawful acts and offences committed in the course of their work.
He claims the bench has gone on overdrive by erecting stumbling blocks for his office and that of Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) by either stopping a case or arrests, even before the two agencies initiate a probe.
Haji, in reference to a Malindi High Court decision to quash criminal charges against Mombasa Principal Magistrate Edgar Kagoni over the loss of a heroin exhibit worth Sh30 million in a case he presided over, faulted the Judiciary for allegedly condoning acts of impunity involving its staff.
Malindi Resident Judge Reuben Nyakundi had also ordered the respondents in the petition to pay the magistrate Sh2 million as damages for infringing his rights.
The respondents in the case were the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Attorney General.
“We are appealing to our colleagues at the Judiciary to try as much as possible not to obstruct the working of other State agencies, especially the DPP and DCI,” he said on Friday in off-the-cuff remarks after ordering the arrest of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and seven officials in his administration and businesspeople over irregular procurement of goods and services worth Sh357 million.
“The emerging trend in courts is worrying and that judges have embarked on a sole journey of judicial craft and innovation by guaranteeing parties release that are either not sought or proven,” he added.
He said the Judicial has embolden persons charged with criminal cases to threaten to defy court orders in the hope that the courts shall protect and shield them from the criminal justice system.
By obstructing the workings of DPP and DCI, Haji regretted that it gives courage for judicial officers to break the same law that they have sworn to guard and to protect.
For instance, the DPP said for some notorious economic crimes suspects, such defiant actions by the bench, encourages them to commit even more, insisting that if judges and magistrates break and abuse the law, nothing would stop the police officers and other agencies from replicating the practice. “We are shocked that the courts have pronounced themselves that DDP, DCI and the anti-graft body can’t institute investigations of any of their officers, in fact, they have said we cannot arraign any of their staff or interfere with their independence,” he said.
He said all State and public officials must let the prosecutorial system run its course so that suspects prove their innocence within the courtroom.
The DPP added that failure to observe and uphold constitutionalism by any government institution is not only a threat but a sure guarantee to constitutional decay and disintegration that Kenyans must collectively avoid at all costs.
To avert a constitutional paralysis and malice, Haji said, State organs charged with law enforcement must be prepared to wedge a “consistent, robust and ruthless” war against all forms of crime.
“If indeed, we have treated any of the judicial officers unfairly, they should allow us to investigate and prosecute him/her because the truth shall always come out,” he added.
, adding that no individual or entity is above the law, and as such his office would never tolerate criminal conduct or any economic crime perpetuated by either public or State officers.