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Sacked judge accuses tribunal of bias

By Paul Ogemba | Published Thu, July 19th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 18th 2018 at 21:40 GMT +3
Justice Joseph Mutava. [File: Standard]

A judge sacked over his handling of cases involving businessman Kamlesh Pattni has accused the tribunal that sent him home of treating him unfairly.

Justice Joseph Mutava (pictured) put up a spirited fight at the Supreme Court to be reinstated, arguing that the tribunal had a fixed mindset to sack him despite being aware that the people who raised questions about his conduct had withdrawn their complaints.

Through lawyers Philip Nyachoti and Kyalo Mbobu, the former High Court Judge said the tribunal did not prove any allegations of misconduct and treated him unfairly with a fixed mindset to sack him.

“The tribunal erred by proceeding to hear and make recommendations based on complaints that had been wholly and unconditionally withdrawn by the complainants and which had not been re-instated in any form, shape or manner,” said Nyachoti.

According to him, the tribunal did not prove that Justice Mutava irregularly acquitted Mr Pattni or interfered with the decision of another judge.

Irregularly retrieved

The tribunal, which was chaired by Chief Justice David Maraga, had found that Justice Mutava irregularly retrieved Mr Pattni’s file from the High Court in Nairobi and took it to Kericho where he wrote the judgement acquitting the businessman over the multi-billion shilling Goldenberg scandal.

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Mr Nyachoti, however, told the Supreme Court judges the tribunal relied on rumours to reach the findings when no evidence had linked the judge to illegal handling of the file.

“There was no testimony from any person from the court’s registry to suggest that the judge illegally allocated the file to himself. All the dates were fixed at the registry, and the file went to the charge since he was the one on duty when Pattni filed the application,” said Nyachoti.

The Attorney General, however, defended the decision to sack Mutava, arguing the proceedings were fair and the judge was given appropriate time to defend himself.

Supreme Court judges Philomena Mwilu, Jackton Ojwang, Mohamed Ibrahim, Njoki Ndungu and Isaac Lenaola said they would notify the parties the date of their judgement.


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