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Judge recusal ruling in Sharon Otieno murder due July 19

Michael Oyamo, a personal assistant to Migori Governor Okoth Obado and Caspal Obiero, a clerk at the Migori County asked Justice Jessie Lesiit to recuse herself from hearing the case/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Two accused persons charged with the murder of Sharon Otieno and her unborn baby say comments made by the judge when she denied them bond, caused them to believe they will not get a fair trial.

Michael Oyamo, a personal assistant to Migori Governor Okoth Obado and Caspal Obiero, a clerk at the Migori County asked Justice Jessie Lesiit to recuse herself from hearing the case.

On his part, Obado who is charged with the murder left the matter to the judge stating he had no problem if she handled the case.

In their applications, Oyamo and Obiero stated that the Judge applied different standards when she released Obado on bail but denied them their freedom because of security concerns.

The two got their freedom in December after the Court of Appeal reversed the decision denying them bail, but it was not until April this year that Obiero was released.

On his part, Obiero said despite not being mentioned anywhere in the statements, the court appeared to have made up its mind, regarding the allegations even before witnesses testified.

“Our application is specific. It is predicated on the comments made by the court,” he said.

Oyamo further said that the court made a finding that releasing him was likely to disturb public order and peace.

According to accused persons, the finding by the court was not premised on any evidence because there was nothing on record of public reaction, during his arrest.

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He maintained that he presented himself to the police and the issue of public reaction does not arise.

“From the foregoing, it appears that the court has a preconceived mind about my involvement in this case,” he said in a sworn statement.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Catherine Mwaniki opposed the application saying the two have shown evidence of bias and questioned why the raised the matter late in the day.

Mwaniki further said the two appealed against the decision and were released.

The three denied murdering 26-year-old Rongo University student and her unborn baby on the night of September 3 and 4 last year, at Owade area in Rachuonyo sub-county, Homa Bay County.

Justice Lesiit will rule on the matter on July 19.

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