NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday suspended Justice Joseph Mutava paving way for investigations into his conduct, following recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
A tribunal is to be established to probe Justice Mutava over allegations of corruption, bias and incompetence levelled against him.
A statement from the Presidential Press Service stated: “The suspension from office as Judge of the High Court of Kenya is with immediate effect pending the outcome of a Tribunal that will be appointed.”
The decision was reached two weeks ago at a special sitting of the JSC where the findings of a sub-committee headed by Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala were discussed for the second time in a month.
Justice Mutava was facing 11 counts of impropriety, eight of which were dismissed due to lack of evidence.
The committee asked President Kenyatta to appoint a tribunal to investigate the conduct of the judge on three counts, which could lead to his dismissal from the Judiciary.
Justice Mutava recently acquitted businessman Kamlesh Pattni of charges related to the Goldenberg scandal.
The judgment caused public outcry with lawyers and the civil society questioning it.
The Law Society of Kenya filed a complaint against the judge questioning how he was allowed to listen to the case yet he was being investigated by the Judicial Service Commission on his handling of other cases involving Pattni.
Early this month Chief Magistrate Waweru Kiarie struck out all charges against the businessman-turned-preacher after the Goldenberg architect filed an application asking the court to terminate the case in compliance with Justice Mutava’s court ruling.
Justice Mutava however insists that he acted above board and in line with the law.
This is the second tribunal that has been formed so far since the promulgation of the Constitution in August 2010, with another Tribunal having probed the conduct of Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza who was suspended in January 2012.
She later quit the Judiciary.