The Court of Appeal has put on hold orders that would have sentenced George Kinoti, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ (DCI) boss, to four months in prison for contempt of court.
The orders were set aside by a three-judge bench consisting of justices Fatuma Sichale, Msagha Mbogoli, and Imaana Laibuta, pending the hearing and decision of Kinoti’s appeal against his sentencing for failing to surrender pistols confiscated from businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
“Certainly, if the applicant is subsequently arrested and serves the sentence, he will have lost his right to liberty, and even if the appeal succeeds, the prison sentence will not be reversed, and the substratum of the appeal will have been lost, rendering the intended appeal nugatory,” the appeals court noted.
Kinoti claims in his Appellate Court case that the High Court rejected his argument that the firearms confiscated from Wanjigi were in the hands of the Firearms Licensing Board, not his.
“The firearms in question were in the custody of the Firearms Licensing Board,” according to the petition, “which he believed was sufficient explanation in the circumstances for consideration by the Court,” and “the learned judge totally disregarded the above averments and proceeded to sentence him to 4 months imprisonment.”
Kinoti claims that the Firearms Licensing Board is a separate agency over which he has no authority, and that he thus cannot order it to release the firearms.