Courts not to blame in fight against graft
LSK says judiciary is not the weakest link, as each part of the trial chain has a role to play
The Law Society of Kenya has defended the judiciary from allegations that it is the weakest link in the fight against corruption.
The lawyers’ umbrella body said the judiciary has become the “convenient whipping boy against corruption”.
In a statement to newsrooms, LSK president Isaac Okero said cases are as good as presented and prosecuted and it is wrong to squarely blame judges.
“Shoddy investigations and poorly conducted prosecutions are more likely the cause of delays in the determination of cases or of the low rate of convictions than corruption of judicial officers,” he said.
Speaking on Tuesday during the Anti-corruption and Accountability Summit at State House, various heads of agencies accused the judiciary of inordinate delay in concluding cases and frustrating the war on corruption.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said he had played his part, but other institutions are letting him down. Attorney General Githu Muigai said the weakest link is the courts.
“The truth is if you have 600 cases and you have only three being resolved every month, then you have the weakest link,” he said.
But Okero said for the best results in the trial of corruption cases, each component of the entire chain must aspire to the highest quality.
“The judiciary is concerned and responsible only for the adjudication of cases before it. Kenyans know that the first two stages of investigation and prosecution are often far from free of fault or contamination,” he said.
The LSK chairman said they have confidence in new Chief Justice David Maraga, as he will restore the function, dignity and collegiality of the Supreme Court and instil discipline and professional standards.
He said the CJ’s experience in private practice and as a judge of the superior court gives him the benefit of perspectives of both the Bar and the Bench. He said this will be useful as he considers his strategy.