DPP Noordin Haji to seal Fred Matiang'is fate

Former Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and DPP Noordin Haji. [File, Standard]

At the height of former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i's power, one man held sway on the short-lived 'Kamata Kamata Fridays' presided over by former Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

That man was Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. He would make the final decision on whether to charge suspects, after they spent their weekends in cold police cells.

Kinoti and Haji earned the tag "dynamic duo" for the zeal with which they seized the suspects and hauled them to court.

They later on acrimoniously fell apart, and Dr Matiang'i was left propping one side of the duo, by virtue of DCI falling in his docket.

Wednesday, March 8, Haji fell in line as the last man to determine the fate of his former ally, Matiang'i, after the former CS spent nearly a whole day at DCI headquarters over allegations he had given false information to the authorities.

His lawyer Danstan Omari, a former harsh critic of Haji at the height of the DPP's fight with Kinoti, has insisted on Matiang'i's innocence, accusing the police of going on a fishing expedition.

Haji confirmed receiving the duplicate file from the office of the DCI relating to allegations that police officers visited and cordoned off Matiang'i's residence with the intention of arresting him on February 8. He promised to make up his mind soon on whether to drag Matiang'i to court.

"The duplicate file herein will be reviewed and a decision thereto shall be made in due course based on the evidence, facts, the law, and the Decision to Charge Guidelines, 2019," said ODPP.

The Decision to Charge Guidelines were bitterly opposed by the former DCI, with court cases filed to invalidate them. In all of it, Matiang'i played an innocent bystander role, cleverly avoiding getting caught up in the messy fight that once saw Omari question Haji's credentials.

He did not reprimand his juniors as they took their fight to the public, and to the courts.

"The Office reiterates its commitment to upholding the rule of law and respect to the fair trial to all persons," Haji assured.

Should Haji recommend that Matiang'i has a case to answer, then he will write to the DCI who in return will issue a warrant of arrest against their former boss.

If he does not approve the file, Matiang'i will be a free man as he awaits the outcome of investigations against him by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

In the matter in question, reports emerged early last month that police had surrounded the home of the former CS. Police and government agencies, however, denied the claim.

Anticipatory bail

Haji was also caught up in the mix when Matiang'i's affidavit seeking anticipatory bail mentioned him in a plot to arrest him. Matiangi's affidavit said Haji met President William Ruto on the sidelines of the prosecutors' conference in Mombasa to plot his arrest.

"He has alleged that I and the president met on the sidelines of the conference to plan against him, that in itself is perjury and I will take him to task. It is unacceptable, let him table that evidence that we did that. I have evidence that nothing like that happened," Haji fumed.

In the leaked police prosecution draft charge, Matiang'i may be charged with among others publishing false information with intent to cause panic and conspiracy to commit a felony.

It is stated that between February 8 and 9 at his home at Karen Ngong View Estate within Nairobi County, with intent to cause panic, chaos or violence among citizens of the Republic of Kenya he published in the media that his house had been raided by officers intending to arrest him, knowing this was false.

As he awaits to know his fate, Matiang'i has been warned against commenting on the matter.

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