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Ruling on 3-judge bench in Mwilu suit due Wednesday

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu had sued the State as she sought to stop criminal proceeding in graft-related charges/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – The High Court is on Wednesday expected to rule on whether a 3-judge-bench should be formed to hear the suit challenging the prosecution of Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.

The ruling will be delivered by Justice Chacha Mwita who issued temporary orders stopping her prosecution.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji is seeking to have the file taken to the Chief Justice to empanel a three-judge bench to hear.

Haji stated that the case raises weighty constitutional issues that need to be addressed by a three-judge bench.

While making the application earlier, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor stated that the matter raises substantial constitutional issues of law that warrant determination by a three-judge bench.

She stated that the case also raises questions of public importance that have never been determined by the courts.

Solicitor General Ken Ogeto also pointed out that a bench will be in a better position to determine whether criminal proceedings can be instituted against a sitting judge of a superior court.

Mwilu’s lawyer Okong’o Omogeni, however, opposed the application and instead accused the DPP of abusing his powers and court process to achieve an ulterior motive.

Mwilu had sued the State as she sought to stop criminal proceeding instituted against her which is currently ongoing at the High Court.

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Mwilu, who appeared before Magistrate Mugambi in August, contended that the proceedings instituted against her had no correlation with the pursuit of criminal justice.

Her lead lawyer James Orengo raised objection to Mwilu taking plea saying the charges were ill-motivated.

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