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History made as high-ranking police bosses are linked to Baby Pendo's death

For the first time in Kenya's history, police bosses have been indicted over excesses committed by their juniors

DPP Noording Haji speaking during the launch of the Excellence Charter developed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has approved murder charges against senior police officers linked to the death of Baby Samantha Pendo in Kisumu in 2017.

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The initial investigations were carried out by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) but the office of the DPP established that the suspects had not been identified.

As a result, the DPP called for a public inquest which ruled that the attacks that led to the death of Baby Pendo were committed by or under the authority of senior police officers.

Thus, the ODPP was of the opinion that the concept of superior/command responsibility should be explored for the first time in Kenya's history.

Pursuant to the above, the ODPP directed that the investigations expand beyond the death of Baby Pendo and take into account the aspect of superior/command responsibility. The DPP directed that the investigations be undertaken by the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA).

“In addition, the DPP invited the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Civil Society organizations, victims and witnesses, to participate and assist in the investigations,” read a statement by DPP Haji.

He said that from the probe, it is evident from the records that several residents of the informal settlements were subjected to untold pain and suffering as the police officers engaged in excessive use of force.

Haji said the operation had a well-organized command structure with sector commanders and was executed according to a consistent pattern involving similar victims.

In view of the above, I am satisfied that there is evidence to support the following charges under the International Crimes Act, No. 16 of 2008 with a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to charge the suspected officers with murder, rape and torture,” read the DPP’s statement.

However, Haji said that he would not disclose the said suspects to ensure that the victims and witnesses of the aforementioned crimes are protected.

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