‘Gross injustice’: Outrage over acquittal of Solai dam owner, 8 others
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has released a scathing statement over the acquittal of nine suspects in the Solai dam tragedy case.
According to him, the Magistrate acquitted the owner of the farm; Perry Mansukh Kansagara and nine others even without regard to the reasons advanced by the Prosecution on December 3 and 5, 2019.
“it remains a mystery to us as to how then the court settled on an acquittal of the accused persons under Section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code considering that no adjournment was sought by either party nor given by the court,” his statement reads in part.
He adds: “We will robustly pursue the Revision in order to avoid what clearly is gross injustice that has been visited against the victims of the crime without any legal basis,” his statement reads.
The DPP further questioned why the in the ruling, the court placed undue weight on the fact that criminal matters must be concluded within one year from the date they were registered.
He was adamant that this ignored provisions of Article 50 which requires legal disputes to be resolved by the application of the law in a fair in a fair and public hearing.
The DPP stated that the right extends to victims of crime who according to him were ‘deliberately forgotten by the court’.
He further averred that there are still two two applications pending before court and they are dated August 26, 2019 and November 28, 2019 by Mr. Gatundu, adovate for the victims and Kenya Human Rights Commission.
“The court has now reserved February 5, 2020 as a date for directions and ruling, the matter is therefore still live,” he said.
Meanwhile, residents and victims of the Solai Dam tragedy have expressed their frustrations following the acquittal.
According to them, the verdict is a clear indication that the government was not committed to ensuring the victims have been compensated and their lands rehabilitated despite losing family and friends.
Subukia MP Samwel Gachobe said he would appeal the verdict and engage the National Assembly through a petition to seek compensation.
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