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Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and other legislators who were part of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's defence team - Milimani Law Courts on December 11, 2020. CFM/Moses Muoki

Kenya

High Court bars lawyers in public office from representing corruption suspects

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27-The High Court has issued orders barring state officers from representing public officers facing corruption charges, on grounds of conflict of interest.

Justice Erick Ogola, sitting in Mombasa, ruled that such participation by state officers to act as counsels for accused persons in such proceedings would be in conflict with their statutory and Constitutional duty.

“High Court sitting in Mombasa has ruled that state officers should not represent public officers accused of corruption because they oversight them,” the DPP said.

The case will come up for mention in May 11, 2021.

The order comes as a major win to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji who had filed the application, seeking to bar lawyers holding state office from appearing for persons accused of corruption.

Some of the scenarios where state officers have represented public officers in court include a recent case where Siaya Senator James Orengo was representing former Kenya Ports Authority Chief Executive Officer Daniel Manduku in a corruption case facing him.

Senators Mutula Kilonzo junior and Dan Maanzo last were also part of the legal team representing former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in his corruption case.

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