An application by embattled Nyeri Senior Resident Magistrate Maisy Pauline Omung’ala to be released on bail has suffered a setback after the presiding judge referred the matter to another judge.
Justice David Kemei, sitting in Machakos on Tuesday, declined to hear a bail application by Omung’ala under a certificate of urgency, citing concern that the suspect may cast aspersions on the outcome of the case.
Omung’ala last month argued that the presiding judge, Justice Kemei, was from the same tribe as the victim.
Omung’ala is accused of killing her husband Robert Chesang who was a lawyer in Nairobi.
The magistrate and her co-accused, Richard Moru, Lawrence Lempesi and Peter Maundu appeared before Justice Kemei early last month to plead to murder charges.
“My lord, before I respond I will pray that this honourable court does excuse itself from this matter and defer the plea to another court because the deputy registrar and yourself come from the same community, and specifically from the sub-tribe (as Mr Chesang) and therefore there is apprehension on my part that justice is not being done,” she argued.
She continued: “I am not saying that you are tribal, but since there is real misapprehension on my part, my plea is that this case be referred to a judge of a neutral community because perception on how the hearings will be conducted is important.”
She was represented by lawyer Osiemo Odero who endorsed her application urging the court to grant her prayers. Mr Osiemo told the court he was jointly appearing for Omung’ala with lawyer Assa Nyakundi who was not present in the court.
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