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DPP wants 5-judge bench to hear Mwilu petition

Haji wants the case file placed before Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a bench of five judges/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji now wants an uneven number of judges to hear a petition by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu challenging her prosecution.

Haji wants the case file placed before Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a bench of five judges.

In an urgent application filed on Friday, Haji through senior prosecuting counsel Lilian Ogwora argued that the petition by Mwilu raises several substantial questions of law and public importance and should be heard by more than one judge.

Haji stated that the determination of the petition will have an effect on the performance of the respective constitutional mandate of his office, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the National Police Service.

“The petitioner seeks to stop a matter of grave public importance and interest since it concerns the question of conduct of public servants and state officers,” he pointed out.

Further, the DPP wants the issue of empaneling the bench determined before October 9 when the case will be argued inter-partes.

“It is in the interest of justice and public that an uneven number of judges be appointed to hear this petition to settle questions raised,” he argued.

The application will be argued before Justice Chacha Mwita who heads the Constitutional and Human Rights Division to determine whether the petition qualifies to be heard by a bench.

The DPP has framed eleven questions among them whether judges are immune to criminal prosecution over acts committed outside the course of duty.

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