Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
Chief Justice David Maraga has appointed a five-judge Bench to hear and determine Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu’s case challenging her prosecution.
The Bench will comprise Justices Chacha Mwita, Mumbi Ngugi, Francis Tuiyott, William Musyoka and Hellen Omondi.
The Bench was appointed after High Court judge Mwita forwarded the file to the Chief Justice, saying the case was of great public importance as it was the first time a senior judge was arrested in the precincts of the court for possible prosecution since the promulgation of the new Constitution in 2010.
The application for uneven Bench had been made by the prosecutions which also sought to know the legal obligations upon a sitting judge or any other constitutional office holder who enjoys security of tenure where criminal proceedings have been commenced against them.
“The issues raised are of great public interest and have never been determined before. The questions meets the threshold sets out in the Constitution,” Secretary of Public Prosecution Dorcas Oduor had argued. Justice Mwita has set December 6 as the date for the case to be heard.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions through Oduor, said they have framed 11 issues for determination. The AG, however, said they have not agreed on the issues.
The court directed the parties to agree on the issues for determination and should they fail to concur on issues, the court will pick for them instead.
Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) and lawyer Adrian Kamotho have applied to be enjoined in the case as interested parties. Their application will be heard when the matter comes up for hearing.