Lawyers to Maraga: Work on week­ends

Law So­ci­ety of Kenya wants Chief Jus­tice to al­low courts to hear graft cases on week­ends and hol­i­days

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAM KIPLAGAT skipla­[email protected]­tion­

The Law So­ci­ety of Kenya wants Chief Jus­tice David Maraga com­pelled to cre­ate spe­cial courts that will sit dur­ing the week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days.

In a case filed un­der a cer­tifi­cate of ur­gency, LSK said the spe­cial plea courts would pre­vent the de­ten­tion of sus­pects be­yond the 24 hours pro­vided by the Con­sti­tu­tion.

The so­ci­ety said there is a wor­ry­ing trend of ef­fect­ing ar­rests for non-cog­nis­able of­fences, con­ve­niently so, on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Ac­cord­ing to the pe­ti­tion, the trend that is col­lo­qui­ally known as “ka­mata ka­mata,” is car­ried out when plea-tak­ing within the 24-hour time-frame is im­pos­si­ble, thus hold­ing sus­pects while deny­ing them bail or bond.

The so­ci­ety wants the Chief Jus­tice to cre­ate the spe­cial plea courts to op­er­ate on Satur­days, Sun­days and hol­i­days for in­stances of ar­rests fall­ing past the of­fi­cial court work­ing hours and days.

It also wants Mr Maraga to make avail­able judges and mag­is­trates in ev­ery court sta­tion through­out the coun­try on week­ends, pub­lic hol­i­days and after court work­ing hours.

This, the pe­ti­tion goes on, would deal with ur­gent mat­ters of hu­man rights pro­tec­tion.

Through its lawyer Borni­face Akhusala, LSK said the trend of treat­ing sus­pects like con­victs "and suf­fo­cat­ing their con­sti­tu­tional rights", is wor­ry­ing.

The so­ci­ety also wants po­lice stopped from ar­bi­trar­ily ar­rest­ing peo­ple sus­pected of com­mit­ting non-cog­nis­able of­fences in in­stances where sum­mons can be made.

Lawyers want the court to is­sue an or­der pro­hibit­ing po­lice from ap­pre­hend­ing those sus­pected of com­mit­ting a non-cog­nis­able of­fence with­out ar­rest war­rants and stop­ping the ar­rests be­fore in­ves­ti­ga­tions are com­plete.

The or­ders sought in­clude com­pelling po­lice to re­lease sus­pects on bail or bond un­less there are com­pelling rea­sons which should be com­mu­ni­cated im­me­di­ately in writ­ing.

The so­ci­ety ac­cuses Di­rec­tor of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions chief Ge­orge Kinoti, Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions No­ordin Haji and In­spec­tor-gen­eral of Po­lice Joseph Boin­net of un­der­min­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion "by per­mit­ting the pros­e­cu­tion of sus­pects through the court of pub­lic opin­ion, press state­ments and so­cial me­dia".

LSK said the Fri­day af­ter­noon ar­rests make sus­pects re­main in cells be­fore the con­clu­sion of in­ves­ti­ga­tions and prose­cut­ing the said per­sons with­out suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

This, LSK chief ex­ec­u­tive Mercy Wam­bua said in a sworn af­fi­davit, un­der­mines the essence of the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence and the right to an ex­pe­di­ent and pro­ce­du­rally fair process.


Law So­ci­ety of Kenya chief ex­ec­u­tiveMercy Wam­bua ad­dresses jour­nal­ists out­side the Direc­torate of Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions of­fices in Nairobi on De­cem­ber28. Ms Wam­bua told a court on Fri­day that de­tain­ing sus­pects be­yond 24 hours un­der­mines the right to ex­pe­di­ent and fair trial.

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