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Mwilu to know fate of her halted trial tomorrow

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu will tomorrow know whether she will face criminal trial over various corruption-related charges.

The embattled DCJ was arraigned last year and obtained temporary orders stopping her prosecution at the High Court.

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

Stop prosecution

According to the charges, she awarded herself Sh12 million between August 15, 2013 and October 23, 2015 at Imperial Bank headquarters in Westlands.

She is 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 is 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.

A five-judge Bench was constituted by Chief Justice David Maraga to hear her petition, which sought to stop the said prosecution. The judges are Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Chacha Mwita, Francis Tuiyot, and William Musyoka.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, who was opposed to Mwilu’s petition, hired Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi to tackle the matter.

Mwilu’s legal team includes senior counsel James Orengo and Okong’o Omogeni  and lawyers Nelson Havi and John Khaminwa.The lawyers argued in the petition, which was heard in March, that there was malice and ulterior motives in deciding to charge her.

Mwilu wants the charges against her declared unconstitutional, saying the DPP is criminalising a commercial dispute.

The DPP, through Qureshi, has defended the decision to charge the DCJ, saying there was evidence to sustain criminal charges against her. Qureshi argues the DPP followed the law in preferring charges against Mwilu and denied allegations that the charges were politically motivated.

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