Uncooperative Matiang'i to face felony charges after DCI visit

Former CS invokes his right to remain silent as provided under Article 49 of the Constitution.


• The state plans to charge him with three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, publication of false information and pilfering.

• His lawyer Danstan Omari said the police were yet to agree on  the day he would be charged.

Fred Matiang'i
Image: Enos Teche

Fred Matiang'i, the former Interior CS on Tuesday left DCI headquarters after eight hours of grilling but without recording a statement.

The state plans to charge him with three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, publication of false information and pilfering.

Matiang'i is accused of publishing in the media information that his house had been raided by police officers intending to arrest him, with the intention of causing chaos.

His lawyer Danstan Omari said the police were yet to agree to the day he would be charged.

“They are trying to set the day he will be charged yet the court is the one to decide. We refuse,” Omari said.

The lawyers also rejected the charge of pilfering. Police had planned to have the former CS charged but the arrival of Azimio leader Raila Odinga caused a change of heart.

Raila arrived there with a group of leaders demanding to see DCI boss Mohamed Amin.

After about a 20 minutes stand-off at the gate with the guards refusing to allow him in, a senior officer was sent to ask Raila to leave, claiming his presence was causing more chaos on Kiambu Road.

Before he left, Raila was assured that Matiang'i would leave soon. That assurance came from both Omari and the police.

Raila had protested saying he should not be stopped from going to see Amin. “This is a public office and no one can stop me from going in to seek service,” he said to a battalion of officers who were looking at him with tension.

There had been a stalemate at the DCI headquarters after Matiang'i refused to record a statement.

Matiang'i had arrived there for statement recording but he invoked the right to remain silent and declared he had nothing to say.

Lawyer and West Mugirango MP Steve Mogaka said the investigators framed their two areas of interest to which Matiang'i, on advice from his legal team, invoked his constitutional right to remain silent.

“The investigation team which appeared to be receiving orders from elsewhere threatened to arrest the former CS. The legal team reminded the investigators that there is a court order (anticipatory bail/ bond) restraining any such intended arrest,” Mogaka said.

Other sources said the lawyers were expecting the cross-examination to be in regards to the summons, but when they got to the DCI the questions changed as the investigating officers started querying Matiang'i about his assets. 

Matiang'i apparently did not respond to any of the questions as per Article 49 of the Constitution, whereby a person has the right to remain silent, at which point the officers then stated he will be arrested. 

They then said they wanted to get his fingerprints and left, leaving the former CS and his team in the boardroom. 

Matiangi's legal team stated that they had anticipatory bail orders and would not allow their client to be detained unlawfully.

At one point there was confrontation when the team sought to leave saying they were not under arrest.

“We wanted to leave and sought to know if he was under arrest. They said they were consulting and we would leave,” Omari said.

Matiang'i had arrived in the company of lawyers and went into the interrogation room where four senior detectives were waiting at the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau.

The last time the former CS was at the DCI headquarters was last year as the Interior CS when he and former President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the forensic laboratory.

Then, he received salutations from police as they inspected the project. On Tuesday, it was different. When he arrived as a former CS, the officers at the DCI were rough.

They stopped him briefly saying they wanted to consult before they allowed him in with his lawyers.

Lawyers Otiende Amollo, Sam Nyaberi, Okongo Omogeni and Eugene Wamalwa were among those present.

Matiang'i arrived at 8.30am and was caught up in a traffic jam outside the DCI forcing him to alight and walked towards the gate about 50 metres away.

When he arrived at the gate, the officers who were waiting told him to wait as they consulted. And at 8.47am he was allowed in. 

Amin did not respond to the Star's  queries on the developments therein.

Security was tight at DCI with officers from the Anti-Terror Police Unit guarding the entrance.

He was ushered to a boardroom at Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau where a team led by head of Serious Crime Unit Michael Sang was waiting.

A police officer was positioned outside the CRIB offices to ensure strangers did not access that area.

Inside, the group held talks for about 10 minutes before they differed and all went south as Matiang'i sought to keep mum.

Amollo said it was all vendetta and witch-hunt.

“Interesting times with former Interior CS Fred Matiangi at DCI headquarters. Five hours later still held in abeyance after only 15 minutes of engagement. This is no investigation but pure vendetta and witch-hunt," the Rarieda MP said.

Meanwhile outside the compound, tens of supporters kept waiting.

Matiang’i is accused of spreading false information about an alleged raid at his Karen residence by a group of police officers on February 8.

He maintains he never talked to any public officer regarding the issue. 

Sang, says he believes that Matiang’i could either be connected to the offence or could give information that could assist in investigation. 

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