The Chinese government has officially written to Kenya, asking for the transfer of more than 70 of its nationals currently facing cyber-crime charges in Nairobi so that they can be tried in China.
The argument is that the computer crime network uncovered in Kenya last month actually targeted China, where all the victims and complainants are located.
This might be a reasonable request and is not entirely out of the ordinary between friendly nations.
However, as the crimes were committed in Kenya, it is important that the suspects be tried in this country.
It is necessary that Kenya demonstrates that it has the capacity, and will, to properly investigate and prosecute crimes of such magnitude and complexity.
Before the Kenyan authorities even contemplate handing over the suspects to China, they must independently establish for themselves the suspects’ exact activities.
This is important because there has been speculation that it could have been a spy ring.
There can still be room for cooperation between the two countries.
China should be happy to hand over the results of its own investigations to aid the Kenyan prosecution.