Kiplagat must face tribunal

April 12, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – The tribunal investigating Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Chairman Bethuel Kiplagat is now free to continue with its sittings after it dismissed his application to stop the probe.

Mr Kiplagat had objected to the probe saying the tribunal had no powers to investigate his past conduct before he was appointed to the Commission.

The tribunal chairman Justice (rtd) Onesmus Mutungi declared that it was mandated to enquire into Mr Kiplagat\’s past.

"The TJRC itself is predominantly concerned with past acts or omissions perceived to have been prejudicial or injurious to harmony in the Kenyans society. It baffles this tribunal to be told to shy away from discharging part of the mandate expressly given to it," he said in his ruling.

The tribunal however referred Mr Kiplagat to the High Court saying that it was the only body which could interpret whether the tribunal\’s Rule 10 contravenes his fundamental rights under the Constitution of Kenya.

The retired judge ruled that the tribunal will begin its sittings on April 27, after assisting counsel Edwin Okello said that he would need three days to conclude taking statement from witness so that he can furnish Mr Kiplagat`s team with them.

"We wish we had began and finished yesterday. It’s a matter of great importance to all concerned.  We don\’t want to waste any time because the longer we take the more the cardinal issue gets lost and that is the purpose and functions for which the TJRC was set up," said Justice (Rtd) Mutungi.

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