The only reason why Meru senator Mithika Linturi is not in court over his alleged inciting remarks is because the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is yet to get its hands on the original video footage of the rally where the words were uttered and the equipment used to record it, Noordin Haji has said.
Haji on Thursday stated that the legislator is free due to the lack of a solid record of the madoadoa slur uttered in Eldoret in January.
The DPP stated that in addition to the clip and the device, witnesses are necessary to back up the claims and so support the Meru senator’s prosecution.
Haji was perplexed as to why his agency was being chastised for a matter that it lacked the resources to prosecute in court.
“People do not understand the Linturi case. We have not made the decision to charge him yet. What happened was a matter of custodial orders. We had asked to have him in custody for five days but the court gave us one day and we were not ready to provide the evidence,” the DPP said.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s investigators were unable to obtain the original clip of Linturi allegedly delivering the alleged hate statement during a Kenya Kwanza Alliance gathering in Eldoret, he added.
“One of the requirements of hate speech cases is that the first person who recorded the video clip and the equipment used to record the clip must be identified. It must be part of evidence. If you do not have that, there is no way we can make the decision to charge,” he elucidated.
He claimed that if the media had been ready to support the case, it would have gone to full trial.
“But the media’s argument, which is valid, is that they have to be impartial and do not want to be pulled into these things. These are some of the challenges we face,” he said.
To avert such incidents, the DPP stated that NCIC investigators must be present during political events to record speeches.
He also requested that the NCIC identifies hotspots and go one step further by covering persons who they believe should be monitored.
On February 28, Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti dismissed a miscellaneous application by detectives who had sought to investigate the Senator for incitement.
“The miscellaneous file is marked as withdrawn as the prosecution has failed to prefer any charges against the suspect within the time allocated by the court,” ruled Nyaloti.