Mwilu op­poses Haji’s UK lawyer

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS - Sam Ki­pla­gat skipla­[email protected]­tion­media.com

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Deputy CJ Philom­ena Mwilu in a pe­ti­tion seek­ing to de­ter­mine whether she should face crim­i­nal charges have op­posed a for­eign coun­sel ap­pointed by Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions No­ordin Haji.

Se­nior Coun­sel James Orengo yes­ter­day op­posed Queen's Coun­sel Khawar Qureshi from rep­re­sent­ing Mr Haji in the pe­ti­tion to be heard by five judges.

Mr Orengo said Mr Qureshi can­not rep­re­sent Mr Haji in the case be­cause he does not pos­sess in­stru­ments such as cer­tifi­cate of ad­mis­sion al­low­ing him to prac­tice in Kenya.

“We have not been shown a valid prac­tic­ing cer­tifi­cate, for pur­poses of our courts, un­der the Ad­vo­cates Act,” Mr Orengo said.

But in re­ply, sec­re­tary of pros­e­cu­tions Dor­cas Oduor said the Mr Haji has a right to pick a lawyer of his choice to rep­re­sent him in any case.

Ms Oduor said they will be “happy” to re­spond to op­po­si­tion by Mr Orengo if the de­fence team makes a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion.

But after an hour break, the court re­sumed with Mr Haji seek­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Mr Orengo and lawyer Okong'o Omo­geni, who are both sen­a­tors, from the case.

The DPP, through Ms Oduor, said the two lawyers sit on a Se­nate com­mit­tee which plays an over­sights role over the of­fice of the DPP and the Ju­di­ciary and, there­fore, ac­cess cru­cial in­for­ma­tion touch­ing on the case be­fore the court.

She ac­cused the two de­fence lawyers of con­flict of in­ter­est.

Ms Oduor won­dered why the de­fence team is ques­tion­ing the ap­point­ment of Mr Qureshi yet Mr Haji ap­peared be­fore the Se­nate com­mit­tee and ex­plained the terms of the UK’S lawyer's hir­ing.

The hear­ing that started yes­ter­day will de­cide whether crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against deputy chief jus­tice Philom­ena Mwilu should con­tinue or be thrown out.

Ms Mwilu was ar­rested in Au­gust on sus­pi­cion of cor­rup­tion, fail­ure to pay tax and im­proper deal­ings with a lo­cal bank now in re­ceiver­ship.

The High Court tem­po­rar­ily halted crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against her and ac­cepted an ap­pli­ca­tion on grounds that her pros­e­cu­tion raised con­sti­tu­tional is­sues.

After hear­ing the ob­jec­tions, Jus­tices He­len Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Fran­cis Tuiyot, Wil­liam Musyoka and Chacha Mwita di­rected the par­ties to file all ob­jec­tions within 14 days and re­sponses af­ter­wards.

They said that all the mat­ters, in­clud­ing ap­pli­ca­tions by par­ties seek­ing to join the case, will be heard on Jan­uary 17.

Mr Orengo said Mr Qureshi can­not rep­re­sent Mr Haji in the case be­cause he does not pos­sess in­stru­ments

FILE

DPP No­ordin Haji--

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