CONTEMPT OF COURT

Kinoti to know on Monday if he will go to jail

DCI boss is seeking to set aside a four-month imprisonment sentence for failing to obey a order

In Summary
  • Order jailing Kinoti arose out of contempt of court case filed against him by businessman Jimmy Wanjigi.
  • Wanjigi had accused DCI boss of failing to give him back his gun despite court orders.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti in his office during a past interview.
Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti in his office during a past interview.
Image: FILE

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti will on Monday know whether an order for his jailing will be set aside or not.

Judge Antony Mrima declined to set aside the order despite a challenge by DCI boss.

He instead said he will give a ruling on Monday.

Mrima said he will deliver his ruling on Monday next week but still expects the orders to be complied with.

His order jailing Kinoti arose out of contempt of court case filed against him by businessman Jimi Wanjigi.

Wanjigi had accused DCI boss of failing to give him back his gun despite court orders.

Businessman Wanjigi has maintained that his firearms are in the custody of the DCI boss and not the firearm licensing board.

Wanjigi told Justice Mrima his counsels received instructions from Kinoti’s counsels on 22 November directing that he proceeds to collect his firearms from the Firearm Licensing Board.

His counsel proceeded to visit the boards offices in the Industrial Area, Nairobi where he presented the communication from Kinoti’s counsels to the officers present.

However, the officers of the board informed his counsel that it is only Kinoti who can release the same to him.

Wanjigi was making the submissions in opposition to an application by Kinoti.

The DCI boss is seeking to set aside a four months imprisonment sentence imposed on him by Mrima for failing to obey a court order.

The order directed Kinoti to release Wanjigi’s firearms that were seized from his home in 2017.

Mrima said Kinoti shall within seven days surrender himself to the officer in charge of Kamiti Maximum Prison to serve the sentence. The seven days have since lapsed.

“In the event Kinoti fails to avail himself as ordered, a warrant of arrest will be issued against him. The warrant shall be executed by the Inspector General of Police,” the judge said.

If the IG Hillary Mutyambai fails to execute the warrant, the same shall remain valid and be executed at any time, including when Kinoti leaves the office of the DCI.

It is those orders that Kinoti is challenging and wants the court to set aside on grounds there was non-disclosure of some material facts.

The judge however declined to stay his orders issued November 18.  

Wanjigi, through lawyer Willis Otieno, urged the court not to set aside its sentence.

He said Kinoti has publicly stated that he would rather go to jail than comply with the orders of the court. 

“It is a mockery of this court and the proceedings before it for Kinoti to once again, after making derogatory public remarks against this court and its orders, to...seek the orders sought in the manner he has done,” Wanjigi said.

“Kinoti cannot at this stage allege that he does not have the firearms. He has confirmed and admitted holding the said firearms and gave excuses why he would not release," he said.  

He said  Kinoti is aware that the purported cancellation of his firearms license was quashed by the High court which subsequently ordered the firearms licensing board to reinstate his license.

“To that end, I am lawfully entitled to hold and own my duly licensed firearms as per the court order,"

"The decision of the High court has never been challenged or appealed against by the state in that case.” 

He further accused Kinoti of failing to prove the chain of custody that demonstrates movement of the firearms from him to board.

In response, Kinoti through lawyer Cecil Miller, argued that the application for contempt of court was brought against the wrong parties as the custody of firearms is with the board.

He asked the court to set aside the November 18 orders on grounds that Wanjigi maliciously failed to disclose to the court some material facts.

Kinoti said to have written to the AG advising him to write to the firearms licensing board to release Wanjigi's firearms, in compliance with the court order.

"The office of the AG has also written to Jimi Wanjigi and Irene Nzisa to go and collect the firearms. They have not for reasons known to themselves,” he said.

According to the court documents, the information relayed to Wanjigi to collect their firearms from the Board was not disclosed to the court.    

“Had these facts been placed before the court, this court would have arrived at a different conclusion on my alleged culpability,” Kinoti said.

Kinoti argued that it is only fair that, in light of the new evidence, the orders of contempt made against him be set aside.

(edited by Amol Awuor)