Mwilu not off the hook yet as DPP challenges ruling

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

The Director of Public Prosecutions has filed a motion to appeal the ruling on Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu’s corruption-related case.

Secretary of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor said the DPP was dissatisfied by the judgement delivered last Friday, and thus intends to appeal at the Court of Appeal.

“Being dissatisfied with the judgement given on May 31, DPP intends to appeal to the Court of Appeal against parts of the decision that upheld the petitioner’s contentions,” read the notice of appeal.

A five-judge Bench on Friday stopped Mwilu’s prosecution, saying the evidence that led to her prosecution was illegally obtained by the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

Justices Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Chacha Mwita, Francis Tuiyot, and William Musyoka ruled that the DCI used a court order that had no bearing to the case to look into Mwilu’s accounts at the collapsed Imperial Bank Limited, thereby, violating her right to privacy.

“The conduct of DCI has irredeemably rocked the foundation on which the charges stand,” read Justice Hellen Omondi.

Mwilu was arraigned in court last year over corruption-related charges but the High Court stopped her prosecution.

Pay taxes

She was facing charges of abuse of office, accepting money in the form of a gift, failure to pay taxes, and obtaining by false pretext security belonging to Imperial Bank, which was placed under receivership.

According to the charges, she gave herself Sh12 million between August 15, 2013 and October 23, 2015 at Imperial Bank headquarters in Westlands. She was also accused of influencing the bank’s receiver manager to discharge two titles charged to the bank to obtain a Sh60 million loan.

The DCJ was also accused of failing to pay taxes amounting to Sh3.1 million for property she bought in Nairobi and forgery of a KRA stamp duty declaration.

The judges quashed her prosecution noting that the charges, such as abuse of office, should have been referred to the Judicial Service Commission.

They, however, held that the DCJ’s arrest last year was in accordance with the law and did not occasion her any embarrassment.

Mwilu had claimed that the criminal charges were sustained efforts to hound her out of office and initiating of the criminal proceedings came after her joining in nullifying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election in 2017. The Bench dismissed that claim for lack of evidence.

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