The Supreme Court of Kenya has allowed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji to continue with extradition proceedings against former Finance Minister Chris Okemo and ex-Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru.
Okemo and Gichuru are wanted at United Kingdom’s Jersey Island to face money laundering charges.
The extradition of the two has been delayed for 10 years over legal tussles between the DPP and Attorney General over who has the mandate to lead the proceedings against the suspects.
“The fact that extradition proceedings are criminal in nature stops the AG from any authority to initiate and conduct the proceedings before a court of law. The AG however retains the executive authority to receive requests for extradition and to transmit the same to the DPP,” ruled the judges.
The AG had argued that the DPP doesn’t have the legal authority to initiate extradition proceedings, since the process entails international relations that fall within the constitutional remit of the executive.
The principal legal advisor of the government wanted the court to uphold a 2018 judgment by the Court of Appeal that the DPP had no power to commence the extradition proceedings since that was the function of the AG.
The Apex court on Friday directed that the proceedings initiated by the DPP in July 2011 continue forthwith on a priority basis.
Haji was given the liberty to proceed with the case from where it stalled or to start the proceedings afresh.
It’s alleged that the suspects stole millions of shillings from KPLC between 1998 and 2002 and hid the proceeds in the UK in offshore accounts.
The DPP began extraditions proceedings against the duo following a request by the Jersey Island authorities in April 2011.