NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Government has adopted stringent measures meant to curb cross-border organised crime, the latest move being the launch of requests for Mutual Legal Assistance guidelines on Thursday.
It means criminals seeking Kenya as a safe haven for offences committed in other jurisdiction will be arrested and prosecuted according to the outgoing Attorney General Githu Muigai.
He says the guidelines will greatly assist authorities in investigations, prosecutions, judicial proceedings, consultations and service of overseas processes and instances where the Government wants to freeze and confiscate property acquired from proceeds of crime.
“Today marks an important chapter in our criminal justice sector reforms as we launch the guidelines for Mutual Legal Assistance and international cooperation in the fight against crime. At the onset, allow me to recognise all our partners in this fight that transcends boundaries,” the Attorney General said.
He explained that the guidelines will ensure those who commit offences in Kenya and run to other countries are repatriated back to the country to face charges while those hiding in Kenya for offences committed elsewhere will be extradited.
“This is a positive step in strengthening of the existing cooperation which Kenya has with its diverse partners. My office as the Central Authority of MLA continues to facilitate the development and enactment of legislation in line with international conventions and obligations as a sign of the Government’s commitment to attain a Corruption Free Status by the year 2030,” he said.
Kenya enacted the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA0 Act) in 2011.
But since then, the country did not have guidelines.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo and Assets Recovery Agency director Muthoni Kimani said the guidelines will help Kenya deepen its cooperation with authorities in other countries.