Economy

Orders barring arrest of two judges in Sh6m bribery row extended

Aggrey Muchelule

Justices Juma Chitembwe (left) and Aggrey Muchelule. FILE PHOTOS | NMG

Summary

  • The High Court has extended the temporary orders barring arrest and prosecution of justices Juma Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule.
  • Justice James Makau said the orders issued on July 23 will remain in force up to February 21 when a case filed by the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KJMA) will be mentioned.

The High Court has extended the temporary orders barring arrest and prosecution of justices Juma Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule over a Sh6.3 million bribe and abuse of office.

Justice James Makau said the orders issued on July 23 will remain in force up to February 21 when a case filed by the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KJMA) will be mentioned for directions on hearing.

The judge also allowed the Law Society of Kenya to join the case as an interested party.

In its court papers, KJMA says the imminent prosecution of the two judges poses threat to the independence of the Judiciary.

Through secretary-general Derrick Kuto, the association says the police officers who stormed the judges’ chambers did not have search warrants.

The detectives alleged that they had information the judges had received bribes from some brokers with the intention of obtaining favourable judgments and that the money was stored in their chambers.

During the raid, police found $50,000 in the chamber of Justice Muchelule and $7, 000 was recovered from Justice Chitembwe.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in papers filed in court admits the officers did not have a search warrant.

It claims it received intelligence on July 21 at 3pm that after a series of meetings between certain judges and the brokers a Sh7 million bribe had been agreed upon and it was to be delivered to the residence of a judge at 7pm.

The DCI further claims that $50,000 was seized from a woman who was in Justice Muchelule’s Chamber 230 during the search, and $7,000 was seized from Justice Chitembwe who is alleged to have facilitated the meeting.