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Kenya

Magistrate in Samburu Governor’s case quits over bias claims

Nyamodi added that the article was published in bad faith and goes against the judicial conduct of a judge or magistrate/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – Anti Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti has disqualified himself from hearing the Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine’s case, after defense lawyers complained over his bias.

The lawyers led by Paul Nyamodi took issue with the Magistrate over an interview he gave to a local newspaper touching on the case facing the governor and his co-accused.

According to Nyamodi, this is a demonstration that Ogoti has already made up his mind over the case.

He further stated that the magistrate should not even preside over the plea taking of the other ten accused persons since he would not be fair in handling their case.

Nyamodi added that the article was published in bad faith and goes against the judicial conduct of a judge or magistrate.

“A judicial officer is not supposed to comment on matters pending before court,” he said.

The lawyer further took issue with explanation given for Kasaine to be handed a Sh150 million bond.

“Bond and bail accorded to the accused is discretion of a judge or a Magistrate,” he said.

Nyamodi argued that the magistrate had charged the governor and convicted him on the same day without trial and that it was totally unacceptable by law.

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The Magistrate in his ruling said that, he has no interest on the matter nor does he have a relationship with accused.

He consequently postponed plea taking by the ten accused persons and referred the same to the Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.

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