BY SAM ALFAN.
A crisis is looming in the criminal justice system after the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti gave a directive to police officers from processing suspects set to appear in court.
In a signal sent to detectives across the country, Kinoti warned that officers failing to heed the directive risk being cited for contempt of court. The country’s top detective said the directive was to abide by a High Court decision, which barred police officers from drawing charge sheets.
In a judgement last week, High Court judge Anthony Mrima said the police were encroaching on the mandate of the Director of Public Prosecutions by drawing charge sheets.
In the directives issued on his behalf by head of investigations John Gachomo, the DCI boss says no statement under inquiry should be taken or inquiry since they risk drawing a charge.
He directed the officers that no charge and caution should be taken for whoever makes the charge is one to caution. Further, suspects fingerprints should not be taken for the purpose of identity because this is meant to identify the suspects with a view to drawing the charge for records by the principal criminal registrar.
“No covering report for in covering report we risk drawing a charge or charges and our work and mandate has been reduced to only forwarding our investigations to the Director of Public Prosecution “, states the directive.
The DCI has said the directive should be followed with immediate effect and officers who fail to follow the directives will be held in contempt of court and shall be held personally.
The move is likely to cause chaos or paralyze court operations because the police will no longer process suspects to be arraigned.