Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has opposed the petition filed by a citizen seeking to deny bail to suspects of graft, rape and robbery with violence.
Appearing befor the Senate Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee, Haji asked the Senate to dismiss the petition.
According to Haji, the Constitution of Kenya guarantees a presumption of innocence on all accused persons regardless of the nature of the offence(s).
“There is already in place the Victims Protection Act passed by Parliament pursuant to Article 50( 9) of the Constitution. This Act contains detailed provisions on the rights of victims including participating in criminal proceedings,” he said.
Taratisio Ireri Kawe petitioned the Senate to amend the Constitution and relevant laws, including the Penal Code, to have the suspects detained until their cases are concluded.
Kawe argued that crimes such as murder, rape, robbery with violence and abduction should be investigated when the suspects or the accused persons are in custody awaiting trial.
Additionally, he wants the House to amend Articles 49 of the Constitution by introducing a classification of types of offenses and a maximum number of days a suspect of specific offences is held in custody.
He wants legislation to provide a precise timeframe within which a judicial process should be concluded on criminal offenses.
The petition brought an uproar in the Senate some of the lawmakers saying it infringed on human rights as stipulated in the insulated chapter on Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
They said the attempt to deny suspects of any crime bail is a dangerous trend that would only slide the country back to the dark days when people were detained for years without trial.