F.A.Q’S

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) was established following the promulgation of the new Constitution, 2010. It is established under Article 157 and 158 of the Constitution of Kenya and operationalized by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act No. 2 of 2013. The ODPP, was formerly under the State Law Office but was delinked on the 1st of July, 2011, following the promulgation of the new Constitution.

The ODPP is mandated under Article 157 of the Constitution to: Institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court (other than a court martial) in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed Take over and continue any criminal proceedings in any court other that a court martial    that  have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority, Discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any criminal proceedings Direct the Inspector-General of the national police service to investigate any information or allegation of criminal conduct.

All crimes should be reported to the nearest police station for statements to be recorded and evidence to be collected before the matter can be prosecuted in court by officers from the ODPP. You should ensure that:     You have reported the matter and have been issued with an OB number    You have recorded a statement    Witnessed have recorded statements    The police have collected all the necessary evidence in relation to the crime.

The police do investigations on reported crime and forward a duplicate of the police file to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. The Director of Public Prosecutions then peruses the police file and gives advice and further directions concerning a matter.

Any person who feels he/she has been aggrieved by the prosecution process in a criminal matter.    Any person authorized by law, for instance an advocate, on behalf of the person aggrieved by the prosecution process.    Any person who has been charged with a criminal offence and feels that the charges preferred against him/her are false or are not correct.    Any person who wants judicial review, appeal or revision of a criminal matter.    Any person who feels that a criminal matter is being maliciously interfered with in a criminal court.    Any person who has reported a criminal offence to the police and the police has failed to take action.

Any member of the public who feels aggrieved by the manner in which either, the investigation or prosecution of a matter is being carried out can come and lodge a complaint with the ODPP.

Any member of the public who wishes to lodge a complaint ought to put in writing the nature of his complaint in the form of a letter addressed to the DPP. The letter should include relevant information on the issue being complained about.The letter can be sent through post or electronic mail. Alternatively, the letter can be hand delivered at the ODPP Head Office or at the ODPP County Offices.

The Director of Public Prosecutions will direct the Director of Criminal Investigations to forward a police investigation file concerning the complaint.Once the investigation file has been submitted to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, it is then perused and a complainant is advised according to the investigations done by the Police.If the Director of Public Prosecutions feels that the investigations were not done properly, he then returns the investigation police file back to the Criminal Investigations Department and request for further investigations to be done and the file to be resubmitted back to his office for further directions and advice.The final decision made by the Director of Public Prosecutions is then communicated to the relevant agency/office for necessary action and the complainant is duly notified.

Once a complaint by the member of the public has been received via post or electronic mail, an acknowledgement response is immediately dispatched to the author.When the letter is hand delivered, the complainant will have a duplicate of his letter stamped ‘received’ as acknowledgement.

The complainant who lodged the complaint.A person on behalf of the complainant with the complainant’s written consent or a power of attorney authorizing him/her to act in his/her behalf.An advocate acting on behalf of the complainant.

No. If one lodges a complaint at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and has matters pending in court; he/she is still obliged to attend court session unless otherwise adviced.

The office of the Director Public Prosecutions is mandated to carry out prosecutions without the permission of the court. However any person may make an application to a magistrate’s court seeking to be granted permission to carry out private prosecution.The person must show that he/she has reported the matter to the police and that the Director of Public Prosecutions is aware of the complaint and has made a decision not to prosecute without reasonable justification.Private prosecution can be undertaken where there is a clear likelihood of failure of justice or where there is a great social evil that is being allowed to flourish.Kindly note that permission is at the discretion of the court in allowing private prosecution proceedings.

A victim is involved all through the prosecution process. This is by assisting the police with all necessary evidence for the prosecution to evaluate if the evidence is relevant to a case. A victim can be involved in the prosecution process in the following manner:Before a decision to go to court is made. This is applicable only in some instances as there are other crimes which must be prosecuted regardless of the victims’ decision.  Before a decision is made whether or not to oppose an application for bail by the accusedAs a witness to testify in courtBefore sentencing, where the impact of the crime committed is evaluated and presented to court. This influences the type and severity of the sentence.Before deciding whether to appeal or notBefore a decision on whether to have a plea agreement or not

There are three ways in which one may approach the court in cases where you are dissatisfied with the decision of the court. You may opt to: Appeal This can be done by the accused person to a higher court than the court that has passed the judgment. If a complainant in a case is dissatisfied with the outcome, one may request the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions to appeal on his behalf in the matter. However, an appeal is only done in matters of law and not in matters of fact. For example, matters of evidence and witnesses are matters of fact, while matters of procedure and the requirements of the criminal procedure code are matters of law. Therefore, an appeal cannot be lodged because a certain witness has refused to testify or certain exhibits were not brought to court. An appeal can be lodged if the court fails to follow the law as written the statutes. This is done within 14 days of reading of the judgment in court. The result of an appeal in a criminal case is a declaratory judgment. This means that the even if the judgment favors the complainant in the criminal case; he cannot use it to claim compensation from the accused. Example: Mrs. Y beat and injured the complainant, Mr. Z, who broke his hand and went to hospital. Mrs. Y is charged with assault causing actual bodily harm but after the trial, she is acquitted. Mr. z approached the prosecution and an appeal is lodged. At the high court, the decision of the lower court is overturned and the court declares that indeed Mrs. Y was guilty of the offence and is sentenced. Mr. Z, though proved to have been injured, cannot take the judgment and claim compensation from Mrs. Y. he ca however use it in a civil case to claim compensation for his broken arm. ReviewThis is where one makes an application to the court seeking it to review its decision on a case. It can be done by either the prosecution or accused person. RevisionThis is done at the High Court, where there is an apparent error on the face of the record. For example, where there is an error in sentencing. Example: Mr. X has been charged with robbery with violence. The law prescribes that the sentence for this crime is life imprisonment. If the magistrate sentences the accused to one year imprisonment, there is an apparent error on the face of the record as the law is very clear on the sentence to be meted out for such a crime. Therefore, a revision will seek to correct the anomaly and give the correct sentence. The same is applicable when a greater sentence than recommended by law is given.