Probe into UK letter flops

March 28, 2012 7:36 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 27- The Parliamentary probe into a document tabled in Parliament alleging that Britain was manipulating the ongoing cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) got off to a false start after it was forced to postpone its sitting for the second consecutive day.

The Committee for Defence and Foreign Relations chairman Adan Keynan was on Tuesday forced to cancel the morning session after Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said they had not received a copy of the document with was tabled in Parliament by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo.

Iteere said the police need two weeks to determine the legitimacy of the document allegedly authored by the UK outlining a plot to have President Kibaki indicted by the ICC.

“The similarities of two different computers having the same mark, which are not visible to the naked eye is one in a million; just the way you cannot have two people with the same thumb print those are the process we have to carry out,” he said.

Keynan urged the Commissioner to be diligent in his probe saying that, “the report we are likely to rely on is your report. So make sure that you have a comprehensive report that will stand the test of time.”

The same fate was to follow the afternoon session, after National Security Intelligence Service Director General Michael Gichangi snubbed the committee, forcing Keynan to issue a summons for Gichangi to appear on Wednesday afternoon without fail.

“It is the decision of this committee that we will take our interaction with the NSIS Director-General a notch higher by issuing a summons for him to appear tomorrow (Wednesday) failure to which we will invoke all the punitive measures mentioned in the Powers and Privileges Act Section 18 and 23,” said Keynan.

The Powers and Priviledges Act defines certain powers, privileges and immunities of the National Assembly and of the members of the National Assembly; to secure freedom of speech in the National Assembly; to make provision regulating admittance to and conduct within the precincts of the National Assembly;

Section of the Act 18 (1) states that, “every person summoned to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document before the Assembly or a committee shall be entitled, in respect of that evidence or the disclosure of any communication or the production of any paper, book, record or document, to the same right or privilege as before a court of law.”

Section 18 (2) however exempts public officers from producing before the Assembly or a committee any paper, book, record or document; or give evidence before the Assembly or a committee, relating to the correspondence of any naval, military or air force matter, nor shall secondary evidence be received by or produced before the Assembly or a committee of the contents of any such paper, book, record or document except with the consent of the President

If the Director fails to honour the summons the Committee could cite him for disorderly conduct and forward his name to the Speaker of the National Assembly for action.

Section 23 and Section 17 when read jointly allow the Speaker to excuse a witness from answering a question or produce a document, or he may order the answering or production thereof.

Keynan added that their probe had also been affected by the Monday’s Cabinet changes which affected the Ministers of Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs who were to appear on Tuesday.

But he said they were still consulting on how fast the new Ministers could appear before the committee.

“Today we ought to have been meeting the minister for justice, but the one who we knew yesterday and the one who is there today is actually our own member, but that is the nature of public life. ” and

The team had been expected to meet both Moses Wetangula and Mutula Kilonzo who until Monday evening were the holders of the two offices. While until his appointment, Eugene Wamalwa was a backbench MP and member of the House Committee.

On Monday, the committee had to defer its session after Internal Security Minister George Saitoti pleaded for time to allow him and other ministerial teams to meet and come up with a united position to the probed document.


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