Lawyer Danstan Omari has said the actions carried against the 15 police officers linked with the abduction of two Indians and a taxi driver is a witchhunt.
Speaking at the Kahawa Law Courts, Omari expressed his concerns about the lack of adherence to proper legal procedures in handling the case.
He contends that the officers, hailing from various agencies, including the disbanded Special Service Unit (SSU), the National Intelligence Service (NIS), and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), are being treated unfairly and labeled as criminals.
“We had indicated from the first day the SSU officers were arrested. This is politics, this is a witchhunt. It is an attack on the profession of the police,” he said.
“These are heroes of this country and I want to put to notice the public that how the police officers, not only these are being handled is going to be a national, serious, security issue,” he emphasized.
The lawyer outlined a detailed timeline of the case, highlighting the officers’ initial release due to a perceived lack of evidence.
However, a fresh set of charges led to their subsequent 21-day detention, followed by their release on bail terms.
The state, however, contested the bail decision, arguing that the court overlooked the gravity of the alleged crimes, including torture, enforced disappearance, and murder, all classified as crimes against humanity by the Rome Statute. Despite Kenya’s domestication of the statute through the International Crimes Act No 16 of 2008, the legal battle intensifies.
Omari revealed that the legal team has taken the matter to the Court of Appeal to challenge the denial of bail, with the ultimate goal of presenting the case to the Supreme Court.
He emphasized the officers’ right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, invoking Article 27 (1) of the Kenyan constitution, which guarantees equal protection and benefit of the law for every individual.
In a related development, Omari criticized the state for its attempt to suspend 67 police officers accused of receiving bribes and engaging in malpractices.
The officers successfully sought court intervention, with Justice Chacha Mwita issuing a conservatory order to halt the implementation of their suspension.
“A conservatory order is hereby issued restraining the respondents from implementing the directive communicated through the letter dated November 10 by the first respondent recommending the suspension of the interested parties until further orders of this court,” Justice Mwita said in the orders dated November 20.