Haji pleads with Kenyans to be patient over Qureshi

Haji pleads with Kenyans to be patient over Qureshi

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has defended the move to hire foreign prosecutor Khawar Qureshi yet again.

According to him, it was in a bid to ensure independence and impartiality in the case involving Supreme Court Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.

Speaking in Naivasha during a meeting with stakeholders on Friday, Haji insisted that the ODPP is content with the decision to hire the British advocate.

“There will be challenges and we will face them head on, but am also calling on Kenyans to be patient as we address all these things,” said Haji.

This comes just a day after lawyers representing DCJ Mwilu opposed the appointment of Qureshi terming it illegal.

Led by senior counsel James Orengo, the lawyers argued that the DPP has no powers to appoint the British advocates something the AG through lawyer Immanuel Mbita however refuted saying Qureshi was appointed legally.

Earlier on, Haji indicated that his office needs an independent person to deal with the case.

“Owing to the relationship between the ODPP and Judiciary, it was crucial to have a person not clouded by politics,” he told the Senate Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

Qureshi who was appointed to join the team handling the case against Mwilu holds a Master of Law (LLM) and Bachelor of Law (LLB, First Class) from the University of Cambridge.

He has taught commercial law at Cambridge University, public international law at Kings London and was appointed a visiting lecturer in commercial law at the University of London in 2006.

It is also in this year that he was became the Queen’s Counsel; a senior barrister appointed on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.

He was selected as one of the 20 barristers for the “A” Panel Treasury Counsel to advise and represent the UK government in civil matters.

While addressing claims that there have been missteps by the DPP among them the charging of the DCJ, Haji said he will await for the court to decide on that matter refusing to engage further.

This comes in the wake of arrests of senior managers in state corporations and top leaders in the country as crackdown on graft suspects resumes.