NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – Court of Appeal judge David Maraga has been appointed to chair the tribunal investigating the conduct of High Court judge Joseph Mutava.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had on Thursday suspended Mutava following recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission.
The tribunal will probe Mutava over allegations of corruption, bias and incompetence levelled against him.
The tribunal will also investigate the conduct of Justice Mutava, prepare and submit a report with recommendations to the president.
Other members to sit in the tribunal are Justice Maureen Odero and David Majanja.
Others are senior counsel Omesh Kapila and the Dean of Faculty of Law at the University of Nairobi, Patricia Kamiri Mbote.
President Kenyatta also appointed Nazima Malik as the Lead Counsel and Emmanuel Bitta as Assistant Counsel to the tribunal.
The president also appointed Mugure Gituto and John Makori as joint secretaries to the tribunal.
Mutava touched off a major controversy earlier this month when he acquitted businessman Kamlesh Pattni of Goldenberg charges.
The decision to suspend 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.
Judge Mutava could also resign from the Judiciary to avoid the panel.