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Chief Justice hosts counter-terrorism meeting

By CYRUS OMBATI | May 27th 2014
 Adan Mohamed alias Haro Kare at the Milimani Law Courts yesterday where he was charged with being in possession of electronic photographs intended for instigating a terrorist activity. [PHOTO: FIDELIS KABUNYI/STANDARD]

Kenya: The Judiciary and some members of National Security Council (NSC) met last evening to discuss violent crimes, terrorism and administration of justice.

A statement from the Judiciary said Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was to host top leadership of key security organs as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions for a meeting at the Supreme Court.

“The meeting is preliminary to the two-day conference for judicial officers, security officials and experts to discuss counter-terrorism in the context of the Constitution and international human rights law,” the statement read in part.

Interior Co-ordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service Michael Gichangi, and the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Julius Karangi were also expected to attend the 5pm meeting.

Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday to discuss appropriate security responses within the context of the Constitution and international human rights law.

Officials said the meeting aims to explore international human rights and counter-terrorism, which sometimes seem to be at cross-purposes, and demonstrate that they should be properly viewed as complementary as envisaged by the Constitution.

This followed a request by the Chief Justice in April who wanted a meeting between the Judiciary and the NSC at the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) in Nairobi.

The request came at a time when Deputy President William Ruto seemed to blame the Judiciary for some of the terror attacks in the country after magistrates and judges released terror suspects on bond.

In a letter to Interior Co-ordination Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi said the proposed meeting should exclude both the President and his deputy and is aimed at discussing the interface between national security and the administration of justice.

“The Judiciary believes that the discharge of its constitutional mandate is better served by a greater understanding of the broader social context within which it operates,” the statement partly reads.

“This is what informs Judiciary’s constant engagements with government agencies, business, civil society and academia mostly through the mediation of the Judiciary Training Institute,” it continues.

Amadi said it is important for judicial officers to understand the imperatives and challenges of the national security and the proposed meeting will afford the other two arms of government an invaluable forum to share perspectives on the critical issue in public interest.

The letter was copied to Cabinet Secretaries for Interior, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Chief of Defence Forces, National Intelligence Service, AG Githu Muigai, IG, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Director of JTI Joel Ngugi.


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