NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to form a tribunal to probe the conduct of Justice Joseph Mutava.
The decision comes after a committee constituted by the JSC in December 2012 failed to clear him in three out of the 11 complaints filed by LSK and other individual litigants
The complaints received between March 2012 – March 2013 leveled various accusations of corruption, incompetence, bias and misconduct against the Judge
A statement released by the JSC and signed by vice chair Christine Mango said: “ Justice Joseph Mbalu Mutava is cleared of the allegations of corruption, bias, incompetence and misconduct in eight (8) out of the eleven (11) complaints investigated.
“In respect of the remaining three (3) complaints the Commission is satisfied that the complaints disclose sufficient grounds to petition his Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya to appoint a tribunal to inquire into the conduct of Mr. Justice Joseph Mbalu Mutava pursuant to the provisions of Article 168 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.”
The probing committee comprised of Justice Smokin Wanjala of the Supreme Court, Christine Mango, Florence Mwangangi, Samuel Kobia, Titus Gateere, Winfrida Mokaya and John Tamar.
Justice Mutava has been under fire most recently after he acquitted the mastermind of the Goldenberg scandal Kamlesh Pattni.
He acquitted Pattni from the charges over the Goldenberg scandal on grounds that he would not get a fair trial because the case had dragged for two decades.
The orders also restrained police from arresting or prosecuting the businessman.
The LSK questioned the circumstances under which he was allowed to continue hearing the case and deliver the judgment at a time when he was being investigated over his handling of Pattni’s cases.
LSK Chairman Eric Mutua in April protested saying that a case such as the multi-billion shilling Goldenberg scandal cannot be dismissed on grounds that it has taken long in court.
“The Goldenberg scandal nearly brought the country to its knees on the economic front and it cannot be dismissed on flimsy grounds,” the LSK chairman said.
Pattni had moved to the High Court arguing that he was not likely to get a fair hearing as three of his co-accused had died.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has already written to the high Court saying that he will appeal the decision after he is supplied with copies of the case proceedings.
Others who complained against the businessman are lawyers of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) who petitioned the JSC to investigate the judge over a ruling in a case between it and World Duty Free, a company associated with Pattni.
KAA alleged that he acted in an unprofessional manner when he issued orders that effectively gave Pattni control of duty free shops at all airports in the country.