The Directorate of Criminal Investigations headed by George Kinoti has accused the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji’s office of interference and inordinate delays in their criminal probes.
In an internal communication to his team, Director of Investigations Bureau John Kariuki said they will not send any progress report to Haji’s office from now on.
Instead, they will only send complete investigation files.
“PUI (Person Under Investigation) files shall not be forwarded to the DPP until the investigations are complete as this tends to interfere with the ongoing investigations, thus hampering and delaying the investigation process unnecessarily,” Kariuki said.
This communication means that the DCI has effectively locked out the DPP from their investigations in what signals the end of the early camaraderie between Haji and Kinoti.
Although the law gives prosecutorial powers to the office of the DPP, Kinoti is understood to be planning to prosecute cases himself.
His officers arrested CEO of the National Water Harvesting and Storage Authority (NWHSA) Geoffrey Sang over claims of irregular tendering.
Ordinarily, Kinoti would have consulted with the DPP before the arrest but in this case, he did not.
“We are planning to charge Sang in court tomorrow [Monday],” a senior officer at the DCI said.
The relationship between the two has deteriorated in the last few months.
Soon after their appointments, Haji used to second prosecutors to work with investigators to tighten investigation files.
Kariuki who issued the new directive is a top cop at Mazingira House and works closely with Kinoti to crack complex crimes.
Signs that things were falling apart between the two powerful offices first became clearer following the botched prosecution of ex-KPA boss Daniel Manduku in early March. He had been arrested over alleged illegal tendering.
Haji refused to charge Manduku even after being taken to court. Immediately after, Kinoti claimed his office had been betrayed.
“My officers are now getting frustrated daily. They spend a lot of time investigating crime, risking their lives — and even after getting all the evidence required to prosecute cases, they are reduced to carrying files,” he was quoted by the Daily Nation as saying.
Days later, the two came forward to deny any reports of bad blood.
In the new communication to officers dated April 23, Kariuki also said no original files or documents shall be submitted to the DPP.
“All files to be forwarded shall be in duplicate form and documents if any shall be in copies properly marked and housed in subfile B and for expert subfile C and witnesses clearly mentioning them in their statements,” he directed.
Kariuki said it’s the responsibility of the investigating officer to establish a good rapport with the prosecuting counsels.
They are also to make arrangements for pre-trials with the key witnesses.
“Investigating officers are reminded to ensure that files slotted for hearing are forwarded to court three days prior to the hearing date. Witnesses all bonded and exhibits ready for hearing,” he said.
He said cases involving foreigners as witnesses should request through State counsel special hearing to protect them from unnecessary adjournments designed by the defence to wreck them financially and wear them down.
“Investigators are reminded to make sure that their witness being threatened, intimidated and harassed by suspects and accused person are protected through the Witness Protection Agency and in case of any difficulty to consult this headquarters,” he said.
Kariuki also reminded detectives that the duty of supplying witness statements and other documents rests solely with the investigating officers and must be taken seriously.
“Supply only the required documents and nothing more,” he emphasised.
However, he said investigators should not provide covering reports, investigation diary and correspondence letters to the defence.