EACC to search, seize property without telling suspect

The EACC has lauded the courts for the recent landmark ruling that will now allow detectives to search and seize property without notifying the people under investigations.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday said the ruling will bolster the war on crime that has dragged the country’s well-being.

“EACC welcomes the sound jurisprudence which augments other progressive interventions in the fight against corruption,” CEO Twalib Mbarak said.

Last week, the High Court ruled that search and seizure warrants are critical in facilitating corruption investigations so long as they meet the criteria set out in law.

In the ruling delivered following a case filed by former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, the court said a notice to a party against whom a search warrant is sought is not required.

If the parties are notified, the court said, it would defeat the entire purpose of investigations.

The search and seizure warrants do not in any way violate the constitutional rights to privacy, fair administrative action or to fair hearing, the court said.

Kidero had filed the case to block the anti-graft agency from searching or seizing his property in the ongoing investigation into graft allegation at Mumias Sugar Company during his tenure as the firm’s managing director.

The court further ruled that it is lawful for the EACC to register caveats and restrictions on property that is subject of investigations.

As to whether a notice should be served on a party before restriction to property is registered, the court ruled that it was a matter at the discretion of the Registrar.

Twalib said the commission welcomes the decision as they have brought clarity on some of the legal interpretations that have slowed down the pace of the anti-corruption war.

“The EACC will continue to intensify execution of its constitutional and statutory mandate and looks forward to enhanced synergy from all stakeholders,” the CEO said in a statement.

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