By Athman Amran
Prof Muigai assured them of their safety during investigations and trial now that the Witness Protection Agency (WPA) is operational.
"Dealing with post-election violence investigations and prosecutions has been a challenge. Most witnesses and victims are not willing to come forward to testify," the AG said in a speech read on his behalf by senior deputy Solicitor General Ms Muthoni Kimani Thursday.
The AG was giving a keynote address during a witness protection sensitisation workshop for the Media at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi. Attorney General Githu Muigai. Photo: File/Standard
Attorney General Githu Muigai. Photo: File/Standard
Prof Muigai said that an effective and efficient witness protection programme is a vital complimentary tool to the criminal justice system to ensure that the culture of impunity is eliminated.
He said this would ensure sufficient evidence is obtained from those who may be the only persons with direct evidence to successfully prosecute cases.
"The State has a duty of care to its citizenry to ensure that the experience of testifying does not result in further harm, or suffering trauma by witnesses who appear in court to testify," the AG said.
He said among the reasons why the Government came up with the Witness Protection Act 2006 is the emergence of new forms of organised and complex crimes like terrorism, piracy, cyber crimes, corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering, sexual and gender based violence among others.
"Perpetrators of these serious and heinous crimes are hard to prosecute as there is hardly any person willing to testify for fear of reprisals," Prof Muigai said.
He said the country has witnessed acquittals in major cases due to witness intimidation and fear of reprisal if they appear in court to testify.
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