Affidavit against Noordin Haji adds fresh twist to raging war with George Kinoti

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti with DPP Noordin Haji during a past event.  [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji conceded to dropping references to his office on charge sheets on the day details of an affidavit sworn against him emerged.

In an internal communication obtained by The Standard, Haji in responding to the escalating tiff between his office and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, directed his officers to drop the name and logo of his office from charge sheets.

“In their place, insert the coat of arms of the Republic of Kenya and add the wording; Republic of Kenya,” an ODPP communication said.

The communication said the changes were to implement the High Court decision issued by Justice Anthony Mrima last week which knocked off investigating agencies, among them DCI, from drawing of charge sheets.

“Kindly bear with us in this transition period as we adjust to the new norm,” the ODPP communication read.

But as Haji was issuing the orders, the affidavit emerged, taking him head-on, and to some measure Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai, for allegedly encroaching on DCI’s mandate with regard to terrorism investigations. The dispute emanates from guidelines on terrorism investigations and prosecution drafted by a joint taskforce involving Anti-Terror Police Unit and ODPP.

 Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The affidavit sworn by Martin Otieno, the Director of ATPU, went to the extent of accusing Haji of using his office to protect unspecified groups from terror investigations. Kinoti said Mutyambai who sanctioned ATPU participation in the drafting of the guidelines has no immediate role in commanding the unit.

“As per the structure of the command, control and supervision under NPS Act and Service Standing Orders, the immediate command, control and supervision of ATPU is reserved and solely exercised independently by the Director of DCI,” the affidavit says.

Kinoti claimed Haji is hiding under the constitutional mandate of the NPS whilst expressly articulating the mandate of the same service.

On January 13, Mutyambai through Nyale Muga wrote to Kinoti asking him to release two officers, among them Otieno, to attend and participate in drafting guidelines on cooperation in investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.

“I was not consulted on this thus decline any action,” Kinoti wrote on receiving the letter.

In the affidavit, Kinoti complained that the guidelines are being cited by courts, including in last week’s case “resulting to chaos and uncertainty in the country.” He also said terrorism largely deploys intelligence which cannot be shared with non-investigative agencies. He claimed an unqualified consultant was deployed to help in drafting the guidelines, a claim denied by ODPP.

George Kinoti claims that the DPP is hiding under the constitutional mandate of the NPS. [File, Standard]

Kinoti took issue with the identity of the consultant saying some of his attributes tallied with Haji’s resulting in “united bias” and leading to his conclusion that the guidelines were “intended to protect” certain groups.

On Monday, Haji denied claims he was usurping DCI’s investigative powers. “Any impression to the contrary created by persons with ulterior motives to undermine the criminal justice system is false and an attempt to subvert the Constitution and disobey lawful court orders,” Deputy DPP Victor Mule said.