The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has been forced to issue a clarification after criticism over a move to reopen investigations into 2007-2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) cases.
In a statement on Tuesday, the DCI boss dismissed claims that his office had decided to revisit closed cases.
He clarified that DCI will not reopen closed cases but focus on newly reported complaints.
“The DCI has recently received complaints of fear and apprehension by members of the public who feel that their lives and property are in imminent danger owing to threats. Whenever the DCI receives such complaints from a person or group of persons regarding a threat to their security, we are duty-bound to investigate expeditiously and without any favour or prejudice, the statement reads.
“Dependent on the findings of the investigations, we prefer charges or we close the file with no further police action. If in the course of investigations, we find that a particular case was determined by the courts, we do not re-open such a case. This is because nobody can be subjected to double jeopardy as defined in our country’s constitution. Instead, we advise the complainant to use alternative justice mechanisms allowed by law, like civil remedy, to address their concerns.”
Kinoti had on Monday met the 2007-2008 victims and witnesses who recorded statements at DCI Headquarters in Nairobi years after the government officially announced that there was no evidence to prosecute perpetrators.
According to Kinoti, a total of 118 cases were registered by complainants and witnesses.
From the cases, Kinoti said, 72 are from those whose wives/husbands/children were killed and the rest are from those who were displaced from their homes.
Kinoti said from the witness statements, Kenyans will see more arrests as many perpetrators are still at large.
He vowed to ensure victims of the atrocities get justice.
But a section of Kenyan leaders, a majority allied to Deputy President William Ruto accused Kinoti of an attempt to revive the crimes against humanity case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the second in command which was vacated in 2016.
The DP and journalist Joshua Sang were among Kenyans, who were charged with instigating the 2007-2008 violence.
The judges in the ICC case ruled that Ruto and his co-accused had no case to answer.
The leaders criticized Kinoti saying the move could destabilize the country as the affected communities had moved on.
“My address yesterday was, therefore, in no way intended to mean that we are going to open completed cases which were investigated and closed. It was an acknowledgement of concerns raised by Kenyans, to assure the public of the commitment of the DCI to investigate all reported threats to security and to sensitize the public on the need for peaceful co-existence, ” said Kinoti.
“We remain true to our mandate to prevent, disrupt and deter crime before it occurs. We shall continue to embrace proactive crime management and to safeguard the lives arid properties of all Kenyans and apprehend those who breach the law and endanger their fellow citizens. I therefore with to caution members of the public against being misled by those taking my statements out of context alluding that the DCI is revisiting PEV cases.”
Some of the leaders who asked Kinoti to tread carefully include Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandagor.
Speaking to members of the press on Tuesday, Sudi claimed that the DCI boss is being used by cartels to stop Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid by reviving the cases.