DPP to focus on assets recovery in economic crime cases.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will pursue out-of-court settlements to reduce the pressure on courts in dealing with economic crimes.
Under a policy called General Guidelines on the Decision to Charge, it will roll out a countrywide drive. The. The measures will also help in assets recovery and decongestion of the prisons.
More than 38 corruption cases pending in courts across the country are coming up for hearing this month alone.
The alternative way referred to as 'diversion' will, however, only take place if a suspect has admitted guilt. Views of victims or witnesses will also be considered.
Senior Assistant DPP Alexander Muteti on Friday said in Kisumu that 'diversion' will be achieved through negotiations with the accused. He spoke on the sidelines of a two-day conference that brought together more than 40 prosecutors from the Western and Nyanza regions.
The prosecutors were taken through the guidelines.
'This will include the utilisation of plea bargain to those who have admitted liability and are ready to return the stolen things," Muteti said.
They will also negotiate with suspects who are ready to offer information that will help in uncovering other cases and reveal suspects. Such people will be considered as witnesses and maybe given noncustodial sentences, lesser charges or community services.
'I want to urge lawyers and clients to look at various provisions relating to plea bargain and what it can offer in exchange when handling some of the cases," Muteti said.
He, however, cautioned that the office is still committed to making economic crimes the most expensive enterprise one can engage and it will not be business as usual for culprits.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution in charge of Nyanza region Victor Mule urged prosecutors to adhere to the DPP Diversion Policy Guidelines and ensure any decision is recorded with a reason. Mule said they will launch the policy and other documents in Kisumu at the end of May.