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    Justice Chitembwe already shortlisted for the position of CJ and Supreme Court Judge.

    Justice Chitembwe already shortlisted for the position of CJ and Supreme Court Judge.

    One of the three judges handling a case by acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu challenging a Judicial Service Commission probe against her has been asked to recuse himself.

    State counsel Alexander Muteti asked Justice Said Chitembwe to recuse himself from the matter without any formal application on grounds that he is shortlisted for the position of CJ and Supreme Court Judge. This means he will appear before JSC commissioners, two of whom are party to the case.

    Muteti argued that it will be important for him to recuse himself in order to promote the fair administration of justice. His plea was supported by lawyers Paul Muite and Taib Ali Taib.

    Muite noted that even though he would have loved to see judge Chitembwe preside over the matter it is important that public confidence in administration of justice is given prominence.

    He said justice should not only be done but be seen to be done and as such it is important that the judge recuses himself from the case.

    Justice Mwilu’s lawyer James Orengo expressed his surprise at how the state now doesn’t want to pursue the expeditious hearing of the matter which was their earlier position.

    He said justice should not only be done but be seen to be done and as such it is important that the judge recuses himself from the case.

    Justice Mwilu’s lawyer James Orengo expressed his surprise at how the state now doesn’t want to pursue the expeditious hearing of the matter which was their earlier position.

    He noted that the matter is before a three-judge bench and one judge will not decide on it. Orengo termed the oral application for recusal as mere forum shopping.

    However, he asked that the application be made formally to enable members of public also get full understanding of reasoning of the court and grounds for recusal.

    President of law society of Kenya Nelson Havi who is also representing justice Mwilu said it is only proper a formal application be filed and so that in the event the judge recuses himself the reasons are not left to speculations in a manner that is likely to continue demeaning the institution of judiciary and individual offices of judges.

    The director of public prosecution has charged her with fraud, bribery, abuse of office and related charges, all of which she denies.

    Mwilu had opposed the JSC hearing, saying two of the commissioners – Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and Macharia Njeru – are biased against her. The JSC dismissed the bias claims, so she moved to the High Court, which blocked the JSC hearings.Hearing on going.

     

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