High Court: QC Khawar Qureshi can prosecute DCJ Mwilu

Queen's Counsel Khawar Qureshi and DPP Noordin Haji at a past event. (File, Standard)
Queen's Counsel Khawar Qureshi will now prosecute Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu's corruption case after High Court ruled his appointment is constitutional.

In the Thursday ruling read by Justice Chacha Mwita, the five-judge bench dismissed an application blocking QC Qureshi from representing the DPP in the corruption case.

"We are satisfied that his appointment meets the required law…we are constrained to find that the application is without merit," he ruled.

Professor Khawar Qureshi, London-based Queen's Counsel, was single-sourced by the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to prosecute Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu's corruption case.

According to the DPP, Qureshi has been engaged to handle the corruption case facing DCJ Mwilu on grounds that the case was complicated and needed an independent person who had no political links or emotional attachment to it.

The DPP had also said local lawyers had failed to take up the job which he had advertised in national newspapers

However, Lawyer James Orengo, who is appearing for the DCJ challenged the DPP's move in court. In a petition filed in December 2018, he wanted the Queen's Counsel Qureshi stopped from prosecuting Mwilu's case on grounds that he didn't produce a certificate of practice.

DCJ Mwilu is accused of abuse of office, accepting money in the form of a gift, failure to pay taxes, and obtaining by false pretext security belonging to Imperial Bank – which was placed under receivership.

In a day of twists and turns, the court also allowed Lawyers Orengo and Okong'o Omogeni to represent Justice Mwilu, rejecting prayers by the DPP to bar them from the case on the grounds of conflict of interest because they are senators and enjoy privileges.

Such privileges, the DPP argued included the possibility of questioning Mwilu in house committees.?

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Khawar QureshiQueen's CounselJustice Philomena MwiluDPPLawyer James Orengo