Kenya: UK Detectives to Help Probe Sh21 Billion Arror, Kimwarer Dams Scam

The British government has seconded its detectives to probe the Sh21 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji made the revelation Thursday during a joint press conference with the Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, Mr Max Hill, at Serena Hotel in Nairobi.

"The dam cases are still under investigation. We have asked the British government to help us. They will help us to conclude the case," said Mr Haji, adding that other jurisdictions are also involved.

Mr Hill, a Queen's Counsel, arrived in the country on a mission to strengthen cooperation with ODPP in the fight against corruption, which impoverishes those who need the government's assistance most while enriching criminals.

"They (Britain) help us in almost all matters: reviewing cases, undertaking financial and forensic analysis, capacity building and joint trainings, not only for ODPP but also other offices," said Mr Haji.

CRIME DIVISION

The conference was graced by British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, Ethics and Anti-Corruption CEO Twalib Mbarak.

Mr Hill said that Britain had seconded a prosecutor to Kenya and set up an international justice and organised crime division that will pursue cases wherever they "may take us in the world".

"We are working with you to tackle organised, serious, transnational crimes. My presence as England and Wales' prosecutor should send a message that we have a challenge of terrorists and corruption, and we are ready to tackle them."

He said the parties will help each other in pursuing cases that concern Kenya, Britain and Wales "to keep all our people safe".

"We will cooperate whenever we have shared interest in these matters [of] corruption and terrorism. Our two countries have had strong ties, but it's important that the ODPP maintains its independence to meet the respective objectives of both countries," said Mr Hailey.

STEP ASIDE

He said that leaders implicated in corruption cases should step aside to allow for investigations.

"The British government's call is that anyone who is suspected, or investigated or indicted with serious crimes, should step aside from office to allow investigations without witnesses tampering and interfering with evidence," said Mr Hailey, adding that those innocent should be reinstated.

"This is not to say that we use it to make people step down because (that way) none of us would have a job at the end of the day."

He said British investigators are following financial traces, bank accounts and operations of those who have stolen from Kenyans.

CHICKEN-GATE SAGA

Concerning the Chicken-gate scandal in which a British businessman was jailed for three years for bribing Kenyan officials in the run-up to the 2013 elections, Mr Hill said good coordination among law enforcers was crucial.

He advised the government to revamp the legal system to ensure justice is served. "Chicken-gate is a good example of liaison and cooperation between us. We were able to successfully prosecute individuals for paying bribes to Kenyan officials. We played our part in our jurisdiction that led to successful conviction of individuals," he said.

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