What you need to know:
- DPP says the Directorate of Criminal Investigations must get a written submission that can be acted upon.
- Mr Haji however assured the MPs that Wanjiru’s family and the country at large would eventually get justice.
Kenyans will have to wait longer to get justice over the murder of Agnes Wanjiru by a British solider nine years ago.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji now says the confession by the soldier on social media is not actionable.
Appearing before the National Assembly committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on Thursday over the inordinate delay of the case, Mr Haji said they could not rely on the confession made on social media and that officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) must get a written submission that can be acted upon.
Mr Haji told the Katoo ole Metito-led committee that murder investigations are complex and getting to the bottom of the matter would take time.
Mr Haji however assured the MPs that Wanjiru’s family and the country at large would eventually get justice.
“We cannot rely on confessions made on social media. We must get the mutual legal assistance from the British government and the DCI team has to record statements that we can rely on,” Mr Haji said.
“It is not easy to give timelines on such investigations, especially when the person involved is a foreigner and in this case a soldier. The case is complex and we cannot blame the DCI. We must get the evidence in writing,” added the DPP.
The DPP accused the judiciary of being the weakest link on the matter.
Justice for Wanjiru's family
He explained that although a court had issued an inquest ruling in November 2019 that Ms Wanjiru was murdered, efforts by his office to get a typed court proceedings had been frustrated.
Mr Haji said his office only got the typed proceedings in June 2020.
“Perhaps you need to call the Judiciary here and ask them why they delayed in handing over the file,” Mr Haji said.
Mr Haji said it had also been difficult to get witnesses to come forward and record statements over the murder, which further slowed down the investigations.
“Some people are not easy to persuade to come forward and give evidence in writing. At times it takes non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to convince them to come out,” Mr Haji said.
Despite the delays, Mr Haji said he personally takes responsibility and will follow the case to its conclusion to ensure justice to the family of Ms Wanjiru.
“Time for justice has been inordinately long but I will get to the bottom of this matter. I will personally be at the forefront to ensure we get justice because I don’t want people out there to say that if it’s a poor person, then we are not interested,” Mr Haji said.
The case is likely to be further delayed by lack of response from the British government over mutual legal assistance sought by the Attorney-General.
Attorney-General Paul Kihara told the House team that his office wrote to the UK government on November 5, 2020, asking for mutual legal assistance over the matter but there had been no response.
Engaging in blame games
“The office is well seized of the matter. We have analysed a file that we got from the DPP and forwarded the request to the UK government requesting for identification of the person who committed the murder and recording of statements but we are yet to get any response,” Mr Kihara said.
Mr Haji told the MPs that Kenya has a treaty with the UK government on extradition and once they get the mutual assistance, then the soldier would be brought back to Kenya to face justice.
However, members of the committee accused the police and the DPP of not taking the matter seriously and instead engaging in blame games.
“The country and the family are all waiting for justice. What can we tell the country now about the delivery of justice? It has been nine years of waiting,” posed Mr Ole Metito.
“What is apparent in this case is laxity on our side. Nine years later we are still talking about letters and who has not replied to what in as far as the matter is concerned. It seems like we will have to wait for another nine years,” added Saku MP Dido Raso.
The Inspector-General of Police and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were also expected to appear before the MPs but they did not show up.
The two are expected to face the House team on Thursday next week.
The murder of Wanjiru at a resort in Nanyuki was thrust into the global limelight by revelations in a UK newspaper of an official cover-up of the crime reportedly committed by a British soldier.
The Sunday Times of London last month reported that an investigation initiated by the police back then had identified the soldiers for questioning and asked the British Royal Military Police to interview them and take DNA samples.