Why some high-profile cases were withdrawn- Noordin Haji

NIS Director-General nominee Noordin Haji when he appeared before the National Assembly Defence committee for vetting. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Noordin Haji has defended himself over the withdrawal of high-profile corruption cases with him at the helm of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP).

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director- General nominee was faced with a barrage of questions when he appeared before the joint committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on Tuesday, May 30, where he stressed that the cases that were dropped as a result of lack of sufficient evidence and abuse of the judicial process.

"I have no regret for the decisions I made as DPP. Abuse of processes led to the dropping of those cases. My integrity has not been dented. I stand by the case withdrawals I have made. I need to clarify that the decision to drop a case is not solely done by me, it involves magistrates and judges," Haji responded.

At the same time, Haji confirmed that indeed he was coerced during his tenure but remained steadfast and made independent decisions in furtherance of the rule of law.

"I have seen various reports indicating that I stated somewhere that I was coerced to drop some high-profile cases. Yes, I was coerced but I never succumbed. If there is evidence that I was compromised, then I am ready to face the law," Haji said, adding that he was at several times threatened and even had his house broken into.

The DPP however declined to reveal his net worth stating that it is a matter of national security, and instead offered to issue a document with information on the property and businesses he owns.

"I request to hand it over to you because this might become a matter of national security due to the nature of the office I will hold," the nominee told the Belgut MP Nelson Koech- led committee.

If confirmed as the next NIS Director-General, Haji promised to refocus on how intelligence is collected in the country and proposed to highlight more on human intelligence gathering as opposed to dependency on technology.

The DPP also came to the defence of the NIS on matters of intelligence gathering in relation to the Shakahola massacre, stating that he was a consumer of the gathered intelligence and that indeed the government had been fed with information on the Mackenzi- led church who promised his followers salvation through death by starvation.

"The issue of Shakahola is not new. The information was shared way back and the culprits were arraigned in court. They were however released by the law courts,” he said.