Saitoti inquiry hearings start Monday
Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal. The public inquiry into the helicopter crash that killed ministers George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode as well as four government officials is set to begin Monday.
The public inquiry into the helicopter crash that killed ministers George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode as well as four government officials is set to begin Monday.
On Friday, the Justice Kalpana Rawal-headed Commission of Inquiry that is looking into the crash announced that it had complied with all the requisite legal requirements paving way for the public inquiry to start.
“The Commission has formulated and gazetted its rules for the conduct and management of its inquiry, under section nine of the Commissions of Inquiry Act,” said the Court of Appeal Judge.
Lady Justice Rawal said that the commission had made headway in empirically testing the wreckage of the Eurocopter A350 B3 aircraft.
“On Thursday a baroscopic (atmospheric) inspection was carried out in the presence of experts representing the bereaved families,” she said.
She also observed that the commission is in the process of taking statements from “potential witnesses” and also obtaining the necessary documents from the police and other relevant government agencies.
The Judge, however, refused to divulge information on how many witnesses the commission has already lined up ahead of the inquiry.
She nevertheless asked members of the public to submit any relevant information that may, directly or indirectly, assist in carrying out its mandate.
According to a public notice issued by the commission and published in the local dailies on Wednesday, members of the public have until August 1 to submit such information.
Following the June crash, the accident has elicited security concerns as some politicians speculated that the crash was part of a ploy to assassinate the cabinet ministers.
However, Justice Rawal assured the public that any information volunteered to her commission will be treated in strict confidence.
“All information shall be treated in strict confidence and shall be used for purpose for which the commission was appointed,” assured the Judge.
The main mandate of the commission, which does not have deadline, is to establish the cause that led to the fatal accident.
In the course of its work, the commission will look into circumstances surrounding the flight control by Wilson Airport control tower where the ill-fated helicopter took-off on the fateful Sunday morning.
Additionally, it will probe the process surrounding the procurement and purchase of the helicopter as well as its subsequent maintenance and storage.