The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is at loggerheads with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over the ‘failed’ hate speech case against Meru Senator Mithika Linturi.
A Nakuru court declared Linturi a free man in February this year after the prosecution failed to prefer ethnic contempt charges against the senator within the allocated time.
Linturi had been arrested a month earlier by detectives attached to NCIC over the ‘madoadoa’ remarks made at a rally in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
NCIC faulted the Noordin Haji-led directorate for failing to charge Linturi, further alleging a plot to help the lawmaker evade justice.
Amid attempts by the Commission to file charges against Linturi as a private entity, Haji has accused the Commission of overstepping its mandate.
Haji, in a letter to NCIC, says the Samuel Kobia-led Commission has no legal authority to fault any decisions his office makes, in regard to charging any person.
“In paragraph 1, you suggest that the action of withdrawing the application was a betrayal to the general public. Kindly note that, under Article 157(11) of the Constitution, the DPP is a custodian of public interest in criminal matters and this is clearly spelt out in the Decision to Charge Guidelines 2019 which were followed to the letter,” Haji said.
The DPP faulted the Commission over what he termed as an attempt to interfere with the independence of the ODPP by influencing its decisions.
“You claim that the prosecution counsel lied to the court about the insufficiency of evidence. As earlier stated, it is the responsibility of the prosecution counsel to consider the evidence presented, apply all the necessary tools and decide whether or not to charge the suspect. An objective analysis of the evidence presented justifies the actions of the prosecution counsel,” Haji added.
“Likewise, the prosecution is required to have regard to the public interest, the interest of the administration of justice, to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process, uphold the rule of law and ensure the protection of the rights of suspects as more specifically set out in the constitution.”
The ‘madoadoa’ slur is linked to the 2007/08 post-election violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and 600,000 others displaced.