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DPP Keriako Tobiko pleads for forensic laboratory

By Moses Njagih | Published Thu, May 14th 2015 at 00:00, Updated May 13th 2015 at 22:40 GMT +3
DPP Keriako Tobiko

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has asked Parliament to push for the establishment of a forensic laboratory to help secure convictions on serious crimes.

Tobiko told the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Wednesday that his officers have, to date, been forced to rely on eye-witness evidence to prosecute cases, including some complex ones such as murders, greatly reducing their chances of success.

The DPP said that with the changing dynamics of crime, it is necessary to boost the forensic capacity of investigators, saying this in turn would help him in securing convictions.

"It is a shame that we still rely on eye witness accounts to prosecute for lack of forensic capacity. That is why up to now you will hear people talking of mysterious deaths yet in the real sense these are not mysterious but we cannot unravel them because we do not have the forensic capacity," he said.

Tobiko, who was defending his offices' budgetary requisition, also complained that his office had been left out in the ongoing empowering of security and judicial organs.

"It would be futile to strengthen one arm without considering the other. We need an equitable empowerment of these organs such that as we empower the Judiciary we also look at the investigative agents," he said.

He said while his office has gradually moved to replace police prosecutors with lawyers, so far with over 600 lawyer prosecutors, he still required more funds to meet the 900 target to ensure the services are fully devolved to all sub-counties.

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Tobiko also sought funds to lease new offices near Integrity Centre, saying their current place of work was "risky". He said they would need a house that does not harbour any other operations.

He said they will require Sh99 million annually to rent the new Pitman House, and thus would require more funding from the Sh72 million they receive annually for their offices at NSSF Building.

But the committee chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga advised the DPP to consider purchasing the facility, saying leasing would be costly in the long run.

The committee also advised Tobiko to consider hiring  vehicles instead of buying 112 vehicles, at an estimated  cost of Sh5 million each.

"If we give them money to buy cars, very soon they will bring here budgets for maintenance. They also need to move to the new government policy of hiring vehicles," said Githunguri MP Njoroge Baiya.

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