Kenya hires a British Attorney to prosecute high profile graft cases.


Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has appointed Queen's Counsel Khawar Qureshi to lead to prosecute high-profile state corruption cases in an apparent bid by the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to make its effort to fight graft more credible.

Qureshi has taught commercial law at Cambridge University and public international law at King's College London.

He was appointed a visiting professor in commercial law at the University of London in 2006 and a deputy High Court judge in 2013.

In a notice on Tuesday, Haji said he picked the London-based professor through single-sourcing after failing to find a suitable candidate through advertisement.

The DPP noted that the appointment was in line with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, Article 157 (9) of the Constitution and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.

“The stakes in such cases are very high and therefore, it is necessary that the proceedings are insulated from public perceptions of political interferences,” the ODPP said in a statement.

Haji further explained that there are several cases of great public importance, as they involve State and public officers, so a private prosecutor will inject confidence.

He noted that the person assisting Kenya in dealing with graft must look, and be seen to be looking, at the law independently - without any external interference whatsoever.

Such a person, he said, must deftly manage relations within the three arms of government and the different justice agencies.

The DPP has brought criminal charges against dozens of senior civil servants and business people this year.

President Uhuru promised to stop the rot when he came to power in 2013, but critics say he has been slow to go after top officials and there have been no high-profile prosecutions.

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