Police panic as possible ICC witness disappears
SENIOR police are in turmoil after former senior Deputy Police Commissioner Francis Okonya vanished last Friday.
His official car was reportedly seen driving into the US embassy in Gigiri on Friday afternoon following an acrimonious row with Inspector General David Kimaiyo and his deputy Grace Kaindi in the morning.
Okonya has since disappeared and his phones are switched off. Police officers went to his home in Westlands on Friday and Saturday but his family said that they had not seen him.
The police panic is largely because Okonya was the chief police investigator into the post election violence in 2008.
The National Police Service Commission dismissed him in April after he was vetted. However he went to court and the court ruled that he should stay in office until the matter is heard and determined.
Okonya resumed work in May but last Friday morning he found that the locks on his office had been changed.
He first confronted Deputy IG Grace Kaindi at her office in Vigilance House. He then stormed over to Kimaiyo’s office in Jogoo House around 9am.
Two of his cars were withdrawn but he then drove out of the compound of Vigilance House at 9am in his official MG car. That car was reportedly spotted at the US embassy at around 3pm by GSU guards who called Vigilance House.
Okonya’s office has now been allocated to Senior Assistant Inspector General of Police Joseph Ashimalla who has been appointed deputy to Kaindi.
Top cops tried repeatedly to reach Okonya but he had switched off his mobile phones.
The fear is that Okonya might volunteer to be a witness in the International Criminal Court against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
As Deputy Director of CID in 2008, he prepared a detailed Power Point and 100 gigabyte report that he presented to senior police officers.
He also made several appearances at the Waki Commission that investigated the post-election violence. It was the ‘Waki envelope’ containing the names of top suspects that eventually led to the ICC prosecutions in Kenya.
Former head of the Administration Police training college, Uku Kaunya, went into exile in 2010. There has been widespread speculation that he is still a potential witness at the ICC.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda made frantic efforts in 2012 to question Provincial Police Officers and Provincial Commissioners over the 2007/2008 post election violence.
Former Internal Security minister George Saitoti refused permission to police officers to give information to the ICC that might compromise national security or incriminate themselves.
Yesterday, a senior official told the Star that he is shocked that the ICC might still be interested in the evidence of police chiefs.
“PCs and PPOs are not like documents that you can hand over to the ICC prosecutor. If the ICC wants any evidence from us, let the court approach us individually and such a request will be considered,” he said.
In October 2010, former ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo wrote to then AG Amos Wako requesting to interview police chiefs on how they managed the post-election violence with details of their provincial security meetings at the time.
In 2011, Judge Daniel Musinga barred Justice Kalpana Rawal from taking the evidence of the security chiefs.