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Why DCI will conceal the face of suspect behind Nairobi Hospital staffer's murder

The suspect was arrested during an intelligence-led operation in Kibra on Tuesday night, September 26.

Concealed identity of a woman

In a significant development, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) announced on Wednesday, September 27, that they had successfully apprehended the prime suspect responsible for the murder of Nairobi Hospital Finance Director Eric Maigo.

However, this announcement came with an unusual twist – unlike their customary practice of sharing both the name and photos of suspects, the DCI chose to reveal only the suspect's name and age, identifying her as Ann Adhiambo Akinyi, a 16-year-old.

The decision to omit her photograph was not accidental; rather, it was a deliberate choice made in accordance with legal provisions.

In Kenya, minors involved in criminal activities are entitled to protection, which includes the concealment of their identities.

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Under Kenyan law, the primary legislation addressing children in conflict with the law is the Children and Young Persons Act (CYPA).

One key aspect of the CYPA is its prohibition on disclosing certain information related to juvenile offenders.

Specifically, the law forbids the publication of a juvenile's name or address, the name or address of their school, any photographs that could lead to their identification, or any information likely to reveal their identity.

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Such disclosure is only permissible with the explicit permission of the juvenile court or as mandated by the act's provisions.

This act also establishes specialized juvenile courts responsible for hearing all charges against individuals below the age of eighteen.

However, it's important to note that cases involving children charged alongside adults are heard in regular adult courts.

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Furthermore, the jurisdiction of juvenile courts extends to both criminal matters and non-criminal 'protection or discipline' issues.

In order to maintain the integrity of these proceedings, juvenile courts are distinct from regular adult courts.

They are held in separate buildings, on different days, or at different times, and they are closed to the public.

However, it's worth noting that, despite the legal framework, there is only one separate juvenile court in Kenya, located in Nairobi.

In other parts of the country, cases involving juveniles are often processed in regular courts on an special basis.

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Overall, the legal protection of minors in Kenya, especially when they are involved in criminal activities, is governed by the CYPA, ensuring that their identities and rights are safeguarded within the justice system.

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