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Kericho magistrate charged with bribery

A Kericho magistrate who had been arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers for allegedly receiving bribes was yesterday charged in a Nakuru court.

Resident magistrate Judith Nyakol, who faced two counts of alleged corruption, was charged with soliciting Sh20,000 from Wilson Yegon through court interpreter Robert Cheruiyot as an inducement for a favourable ruling in a case.

She said to have committed the offence on July 27 at the Kericho Law Courts. She also faced alternative charge of receiving a bribe of Sh10 000 from Cheruiyot on August 20 to facilitate a favourable penalty to the same person. Her co-accused, Cheruiyot, denied two counts of soliciting and receiving the same amount of money on diverse dates between July 17 and 20 August 20.

The accused, who were represented by five lawyers, denied the charges before principal magistrate Wakumile Ndururu. Through lead counsel David Mong’eri, Nyakol and Cheruiyot pleaded to be released on personal bonds and asked the court to grant them a two-day hearing on priority basis.

Mong’eri also urged the prosecution to supply them with all statements, exhibits and both documentary and audio evidence they would rely on.

The lawyer also urged the court to compel the investigating officer to release a National ID card belonging to the accused magistrate and a laptop which they said contained personal documents and undelivered judgments of Kericho-related matters.

However, the prosecution led by Hillary Songoyo said the laptop and ID would be used as exhibits in the case and the investigating officer would rely on the same to file a report to be used in their prosecution.

Wakumile ruled that the three weeks sought by the prosecution was reasonably sufficient for police to complete investigations and return the laptop to the owner.

He also directed the prosecution to make a photocopy of the ID and surrender it to the magistrate to avoid any inconveniences. The accused were released on a Sh20,000 cash bail or bond of Sh50,000 with similar surety. The case will be mentioned on October 2 for purposes of fixing a hearing date.

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