, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi has been allowed to prosecute the corruption case facing Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.
Justices Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Chacha Mwita, Francis Tuiyot and William Musyoka ruled that Qureshi does not need a Kenyan Advocate Practicing Certificate nor a work permit to prosecute the case.
“It is our finding that the foreign counsel is properly appointed to appear before us in this matter,” the judges ruled.
The graft case will now be heard on February 18.
Mwilu’s lawyers had challenged Qureshi’s involvement in the case, saying he was not properly appointed by DPP Noordin Haji to handle the case, and wanted him disqualified.
The DPP however defended the appointment saying that he had complied with the law and that his gazettement was procedural.
The bench further held that if Mwilu felt aggrieved by the foreign counsel’s appearance ought to have challenged it by way of a Constitutional petition.
Similarly, the bench dismissed the DPPs application seeking to bar Senators James Orengo and Okong’o Omogeni from representing the DCJ.
The court ruled that he failed to adduce evidence of conflict of interest following the duo’s appearance in a Senate Justice and Legal Committee during which the chief prosecutor was questioned about the London based counsel’s appointment.
The judges however rebuked the two senators for misconduct for failing to mention that they were appearing on behalf of the DCJ in the matter.
“It is a misconduct for the two for failing to reveal they were appearing for the petitioner even though we find it has no bearing on this matter since what was discussed were general issues.”
Mwilu is facing five graft-related charges among them acceptance of money in circumstances that undermine public confidence in the office she holds.
The charges to be preferred against Mwilu stemmed from an investigation that was carried out by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
According to DPP Haji, Mwilu is also accused of improperly obtaining the execution of a security belonging to the Imperial Bank, now under receivership.
Mwilu will also be charged with abuse of office, unlawful failure to pay taxes, and conducting herself in disregard of the law.