Suspects use wealth to threaten us – prosecutors
East African Association of Prosecutors president Keriako Tobiko says they have been forgotten in terms of remuneration and security
Prosecutors in East Africa say they are under immense threat from drug and corruption kingpins.
Under their umbrella body the East African Association of Prosecutors, they said this is hurting their work.
The prosecutors said suspects use their wealth to subvert justice.
This came up during the ongoing EAPP annual conference at the Great Rift Valley Lodge, Naivasha. Delegates from six countries are in attendance.
The association launched its strategic plan and admitted South Sudan as a new member, joining Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
EAPP president Keriako Tobiko said for years, prosecutors have been forgotten in terms of remuneration and security. The Kenyan Director of Public Prosecutions said there is an urgent need to improve the welfare of prosecutors and their work environment.
“Prosecutors are under threat due to the nature of their work and are being forced to share public service vehicles and even estates with the drug kingpins they are prosecuting,” he said.
Tobiko said in Kenya, the multi-agency organisation has frozen property worth billions of shillings belonging to corruption suspects adversely mentioned in the National Youth Service saga.
“The suspects are using the crime proceeds to bribe their way out, subvert investigations and compromise judicial process,” he said. Tobiko expressed concern over the rise in wildlife crime in East Africa and demand for wildlife products.
“We are getting cooperation from the region’s countries, but countries like Thailand and Malaysia, where wildlife trophies are being taken, have refused to work with us,” he said.
His Tanzanian counterpart Biswalo Mganga said they have frozen and recovered assets worth Sh164 billion from suspects involved in wildlife crime.
‘WE HAVE LEARNT SUSPECTS USE CRIME PROCEEDS TO BRIBE THEIR WAY OUT, SUBVERT PROBE AND COMPROMISE JUDICIAL PROCESS’
DPP Keriako Tobiko and his Burundian counterpart Silvestre Nyandwi during the East African Association of Prosecutors’ annual conference at the Great Rift Valley lodge in Naivasha yesterday