DPP APPEALS DECISION TO ACQUIT PARLIAMENT STAFF.

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Seven parliament staff before trial court at Milimani law court.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko will challenge a decision releasing senior officials working in Parliament.

He moved to the High Court questioning the move by Nairobi Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo who ordered that their charge be struck out, they be released even without hearing a single witness.

CM Ogembo based his decision on alleged violation of the accused persons’ right to a fair trial under Article 50 of the Constitution.

The prosecution however wants the High Court to revise and set aside the said order and direct that the matter proceeds to a full hearing.

DPP instituted criminal proceedings against the accused persons on November10 2015 blaming them for conspiring to commit a felony among others charges.

They all pleaded not guilty.

The court proceeded to release the accused persons on a bond of Sh1 million and one surety of a similar amount or in the alternative a cash bail of Sh300, 000.

Several documents could not be availed by the parliament because of their nature of confidentiality.

According to the prosecutor the documents the accused were demanding were classified and contained information that if leaked to the public would expose Members of Parliament dealings and be a matter of national security.

The prosecutor also informed the court that his case was not relying on the said documents to prove his case and that they were in safe custody of the Parliamentary Service Commission.

“The Chief Magistrate has no powers to purport to interpret the Constitution as he did in dismissing the charges citing violation of the accused person’s right to a fair trial since he is not a Judge. The Prosecution supplied all the witness statements and documentary exhibits it intended to rely upon during the trial,” he said.

He also accused CM Ogembo of being unfair and biased. “He never accorded the complainant an opportunity to be heard.”

Further, the Ruling in question undermines the doctrine of separation of powers and specifically the power of the Director of Public Prosecutions to control criminal Proceedings, he argued.

The DPP also urged the court to call for and examine the record in the aforesaid proceedings so as to satisfy itself and pronounce itself on the legality or propriety of the findings and orders as well as the regularity of the proceedings giving rise to the suit.

 

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