Cohen family ask for Haji dismissal over interference

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 22:00 | By
Tob Cohen’s sister Gabriel Van Staten’s lawyer Danstan Omari addresses the Press outside the Milimani Law Courts yesterday. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

A turf war pitting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti escalated yesterday after a petition was lodged at Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking to have Haji removed from office over gross misconduct.

The petition filed the family of the late Tob Cohen seeks Haji’s removal over gross misconduct and abuse of office.

Through the deceased’s sister Gabriel Van Straten, the family accuses the DPP of being unfit to hold public office given the manner he has mishandled her late brother’s murder case. 

Gabriel says it will be in the public interest for the PSC to allow her petition and start the process of removing Haji from office.

Haji’s competence

The family further wants Haji’s conduct investigated to ascertain his competence and requisite professional qualifications so as to ascertain whether he is fit and proper to hold office as the DPP.

“Public Service Commission (PSC) be pleased to forward this instant petition to the President of the Republic of Kenya and recommend the immediate suspension of Haji from office for his open show of bias, favouritism, incompetence, misbehavior and misconduct as demonstrated inter alia through his refusal and or failure to take action or charge and prosecute Justice Sankale ole Kantai for the fraudulent transfer of Silas Ita’s Shares on the April 20, 1999 and his involvement or participation in the grotesque murder and cover up of the late Cohen alongside the other perpetrators in  Criminal case No.60 of 2019 between the Republic versus Sarah Wairimu Kamotho and Peter Karanja,” reads the petition.

Gabriel through lawyers Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta wants Haji removed by PSC from office for alleged gross misconduct on grounds he has been interfering with criminal investigations by the DCI.

“The DPP Haji lacks all requisite experience as provided for under Article 157 (3) Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” reads the petition.

Gabriel wants the DPP to step down or be removed from office for failure to recommend the prosecution of the key suspect, Court of appeal Judge Sankale Ole Kantai, who has been linked to the murder of their late kin following evidence gathered by the DCI.

Justice Sankale survived prosecution over the murder of the Dutch billionaire after the DPP wrote a letter to the DCI in August stopping the judge’s prosecution on grounds there was no sufficient evidence to link him to the murder. 

“The actions and directives of the Director of Public Prosecution has raised questions on the integrity of the office of the DPP and is demeaning the office contrary to Article 75(1)(c) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and more so, the infringement of Chapter six of the Supreme Law of Kenya,” say the lawyers

Gabriel argues that because of the actions of the DPP interfering with criminal investigations by the DCI, unrest and uncertainty is taking centre stage.

“Such a directive from the DPP does not serve the best interest of justice for the victims of the late Tob Cohen; the greater public good and more so, an invasion to the freedom and independence of the office of the DCI, who is lawfully empowered to detect crime, investigate it and bring the perpetrators to face the consequences of their actions,” she said.

Overheard bragging

Gabriel avers that Justice Sankale was apparently overheard bragging about the DPP’s failure to approve the charges.

 “As such, it is now becoming a norm amongst highly connected suspects to boast that criminal accusations against them will never see the light of day as the Director of Public Prosecutions is undoubtedly a deeply compromised public officer,” reads the petition.

Gabriel further states that the DPP has never called to question the inadequacies in the investigations of the murder of the late Cohen and or pointed out the gaps in the evidence submitted to his office to the extent that the evidence implicates Justice Sankale in order to enable the investigators comb their evidence and establish a water tight evidence in his eyes.

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