Noordin Haji, head of public prosecutions in Kenya, is the urbane son of one of the country’s most prominent families. George Kinoti, born in the slums, rose from burly beat cop to head the powerful police investigation department. Together, they are building corruption cases against top Kenyan officials. This week, the finance minister and other officials were charged with financial misconduct, marking the first time police have arrested a sitting finance minister in an east African nation notorious for graft. Both men credit their success in part to an unlikely friendship forged while working together in the field. “Prosecutors and investigators never worked together, but since me and Kinoti came into office that has changed,” Noordin Haji told Reuters at his Nairobi office, where leather-bound law books and the graceful arabesques of Islamic art line the walls. “We do have a personal relationship as friends,” said the trim, silver-haired 46-year-old, appointed director of public prosecutions (DPP) last August. “We are able to sit down and agree without having turf wars.” The first big case the two worked on together last year was the alleged theft of nearly $100 million from the National Youth Service. Kinoti hand-picked officers he could trust to work on the case, Haji said. Prosecutors charged 43 suspects, including a principal secretary, the most senior career bureaucrat in a ministry. The case against them is still ongoing, but five banks have already been fined nearly $4 million for failing to report suspicious transactions. Not everyone from the…
“Prosecutors and investigators never worked together, but since me and Kinoti came into office that has changed,” Noordin Haji said.
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