, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, announced on Thursday that he would be moving to court “without further delay” over the alleged sexual assault of Busia teenager identified as ‘Liz’.
In a statement issued in conjunction with Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya) and the Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), the DPP said there was sufficient evidence to support a sexual assault case.
“The medical evidence supports charges of sexual violence. COVAW will arrange for a report from Liz’s psycho social support and will continue to ensure that Liz and her family receive psycho social support as appropriate,” the statement reads.
The family will be accorded witness protection, with the DPP engaging the Witness Protection Agency and the Kenya Police Service on this front.
The statement goes on to say that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into the conduct of the Administration Police (AP) who first handled Liz’s case.
In November 2013, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga had also directed the National Council for the Administration of Justice to investigate the handling of the affair by the police.
Ironically, the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo had said through AP Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi, on November 2, 2013, that it would be unlikely that a sexual assault charge would stick in Liz’s case due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
“Elizabeth took two months for her to report this fact. It may therefore be futile to charge the suspects in a court of law with rape without proper evidence as the case will just collapse,” he had projected.
The ‘Justice for Liz’ campaign began when it emerged that in the early hours of June 27, 2013, Liz was allegedly gang raped by six young men who were allegedly ordered to cut grass as punishment by three AP officers in lieu of arrest and prosecution.
Kimaiyo however defended the release of Liz’s assailants on the grounds that their parents reached an agreement after 16-year-old Liz denied a sexual assault had taken place.
“Deliberations between the families resolved to have the suspects released since the condition of the girl was not serious. Their key mistake is that this agreement was not recorded in writing,” he had argued.
COVAW which had been incensed by Kimaiyo’s defence of the way the police handled Liz’s assault welcomed the DPP’s decision to move to Court.