Wako scoffs at calls to quit

March 4, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – Attorney General Amos Wako on Wednesday said he will not resign over allegations of condoning extra-judicial killings in the country.

Speaking a week after UN Rapporteur Professor Philip Alston called for his resignation, Mr Wako said his conscience was clear and that he would only quit if Prof Alston’s accusations were proven.

“Forget Prof Alston, there is nothing in his statement to support his conclusions about me.  I am waiting for the interim report. I want to see on what grounds that decision was arrived at,” he said.

“If I am satisfied that you have good grounds, I will resign.”

Mr Wako, who also served as a Special Rapporteur on human rights in the early 1980’s, denied presiding over a system that has done nothing to deal with with police killings.

He said he had prosecuted all cases on arbitrary killings that had been forwarded to his office.

“I have prosecuted all the cases that have reached my desk. I have also tried as much as I can to act on all the reports, whether from human rights or others,” he said.

The AG also promised that next week he would reveal to the public all files handed over to him and what he had done with them.

He clarified that he was not in charge of investigations according to the criminal procedures: “I want to see the files he (Alston) may have identified, which after investigations were found to have sufficient evidence to prosecute, and they reached my desk and I refused to prosecute. My work is not to investigate.”

The Attorney General was speaking during the launch of a Witness Protection Unit, where he said that the inception and the enactment of the Witness Protection Act were inspired by the difficulties faced during the post election violence, massive cases of corruption, and organised criminal gangs.

He also said that during investigations on the poll violence, people failed to testify against suspected perpetrators of the 2007 post election crisis, for fear of retaliation.

Mr Wako announced that Senior Principal State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions Alice Ondieki was appointed as the Acting Head of the Witness Protection Unit, which has its offices located at the National Social Security Fund building.

The Unit is expected to come up with a programme to cater and protect witnesses and victims of criminal acts.

Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch, now a Judge at the International Criminal Court, has said that she will be sharing with the Unit her new gains at The Hague.

She was expected to be sworn in on March 11.


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