Kinoti to appeal against jail term
Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti was yesterday planning to move to the Court of Appeal to challenge a four-month jail sentence slapped on him by the High Court for contempt of court.
Justice Antony Mrima sentenced Kinoti to jail for failing to obey a court order to release firearms belonging to businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
The Attorney General, who had unsuccessfully sought a review of the sentence, stated that he would challenge the sentence at the Court of Appeal.
“Your honour, take notice that we are going to appeal the court’s decision. However, we want the court to note that there is a recent letter by the Firearms Licensing Board which indicates that they are the ones having Wanjigi’s guns and not the DCI’s office,” the AG, through lawyer Cecil Miller, told the court.
This was after the High Court rejected Kinoti’s application seeking to set aside his jail sentence. It was the third time the High Court was rejecting Kinoti’s attempt to avoid the jail term.
Justice Mrima dismissed Kinoti’s argument that the firearms, which were confiscated from Wanjigi’s homes in Nairobi and Malindi, were in the custody of the Firearms Licensing Board and not the DCI.
The judge stated that DCI officers had previously told the court that the firearms were in their possession and not in the board’s custody as alleged by their boss.
Mrima said Kinoti never tabled any correspondence showing that the firearms had been moved from the DCI to the board’s custody for safe-keeping.
“There is no evidence to show how the seized firearms were moved from DCI officers to the licensing board,” Justice Mrima ruled.
The judge faulted the Attorney General for delay in filing the application seeking to suspend Kinoti’s sentence.
Mrima observed that the initial orders finding Kinoti guilty of contempt have neither been suspended or appealed against.
He also rejected assertions by Kinoti that he was wrongly sued instead of the board, saying the argument lacks merit.
Kinoti, through the AG, had challenged the sentence, saying he was wrongly sued.
The AG, through Miller, argued that the DCI is not the custodian of firearms. He argued that it is the board which is charged with the task of securing firearms.
Kinoti further argued that Wanjigi’s firearms were confiscated by his predecessor, Ndegwa Muhoro.
“Kinoti does not have any role in respect of the civilians firearm but the firearms board,” Miller had said.
Nairobi lawyer Charles Kanjama said the DCI could still challenge the sentence at the Court of Appeal.
“It is within the DCI’s rights to challenge the sentence at the Court of Appeal,” said Kanjama.
Lawyer Danstan Omari also expressed confidence that the Court of Appeal will set aside Justice Mrima’s sentence.
“The rule of law provides that Kinoti, like any other citizen or litigant, be heard by the Court of Appeal and the AG must now move with speed to get those orders stayed or quashed,” said Omari.