KENYA’S DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION

NAIROBI– Kenyan Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu was charged with corruption, abuse of office and forgery here Tuesday but was released in the evening on a five million shillings (about 50,000 US dollars) personal bond.

Justice Mwilu, who was arrested on Tuesday afternoon over alleged transactions involving the collapsed Imperial Bank, was also ordered to return to court on Wednesday for the continuation of the proceedings.

The embattled Deputy Chief Justice was charged with various counts among them abuse of office and forgery.

Officers from the police directorate of criminal investigations (DCI), led by Chief Detective George Kinoti arrested Mwilu at the Supreme Court building before taking her to DCI Headquarters from where she was processed and subsequently taken to the Milimani Law Courts here to take plea.

The evidence in our possession reveals that Lady Justice Mwilu abused her office for personal gain; accepted a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermine public confidence in the integrity of her office, obtaining execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank Limited, now in receivership, by false pretense, unlawful failure to pay taxes, conducted herself in disregard of the law, said the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noor Haji.

In view of the above, I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with the reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred. Investigating and punishing wrongdoing is difficult and painful but it must be done.

Haji said Mwilu’s alleged wrongdoing, happened while she was at the Court of Appeal.

The arrest of such a high-ranking judicial staff, unprecedented in Kenya’s history, is the culmination of weeks of investigations into corruption at the Judiciary and is likely to send shock waves throughout the institution.

Chief Justice David Maraga has previously indicated that there will be no sacred cows, even within the corridors of justice, in the fight against corruption.

Mwilu is set to face five graft-related charges among them acceptance of money in circumstances that undermine public confidence in the office she holds, said Noor Haji.

He told a media conference that the Deputy Chief Justice was found to have improperly obtained the execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank, now in receivership.

Over the last few months, there has been a concerted effort to fight corruption and economic crimes in the country that seriously deny the provision of basic necessities to the citizenry and affect development. The fight has seen several high ranking officials and entities charged with various offenses including asset forfeiture and confiscation, the DPP said.

I believe that judges in a democracy such as ours must be totally free to exercise their judgment in a societal environment that supports and protects them. Indeed, the precepts and principles of the constitution must be our guide at all times.

“But the justice system only works if lawyers, prosecutors, magistrates, and judges are fair and just. There can be no justice if lawyers, prosecutors, magistrates. I believe that the majority of court officials are honest, hardworking Kenyans who have offered their time and talents in the service of their country.

“The evidence in our possession reveals that: Lady Justice Mwilu abused her office for personal gain; accepted a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermined public confidence in the integrity of her office; and conducted herself in disregard of the law.

“In view of the above, I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with a reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK