Complaint-Criminal Procedure (Kenya)

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A complaint is any document that raises charges against a person for a crime committed.

A complainant is a person who lodges a complaint with the police or any lawful authority.

Complaints are under Section 89 of the Criminal Procedure Code-Kenya.

According to Section 89 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a complaint may be made before a magistrate, police officer or it can be made by bringing the person suspected of committing the crime to a police station.

A complaint may be made orally or in writing. If made orally, it shall be reduced to writing by a magistrate or someone directed to do so by a magistrate. The complaint must be signed by both the magistrate and the complainant.

A complaint serves the purpose of proving that a prosecutor has legitimate reason to begin the process of trial against the accused.

A plaint also informs the accused of the charges leveled against him. With this, he can prepare a defense.

Upon receiving the plaint, a magistrate shall draw up a charge containing the offences alleged and sign the document. (Section 89(4))

Where a plaint or formal charge does not disclose an offence, he shall make an order refusing to admit the complaint or charge, giving a record of his reasons.

After a complaint has been made, th police investigate by way of interviewing witnesses, interviewing the complainant and interviewing the accused.

Later, the police will consult the D.P.P who will the apply 2 tests to determine if the information gathered is enough to sustain a criminal trial.

  1. Evidential test
  2. Public interest test