By Eveline Kwamboka
A case challenging Sh68 million criminal charges against suspended Kenya Pipeline Company managing director George Okungu has been referred to the Chief Justice.
The case was yesterday referred to Mr Evan Gicheru to appoint a three-judge bench, to hear and determine it.
However, the presiding High Court Judge, Justice Roselyne Wendoh said the CJ should not include her in the bench.
"I refer the matter to the CJ and request to be excluded from that bench," she said.
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The judge extended orders stopping the magistrate court from proceeding with the criminal case, until it comes before the CJ for the appointment of judges.
Mr Okungu and the former company secretary Mary Kiptui had applied to the court to have the case referred to the CJ because it had raised serious constitutional issues.
Okungu claims the criminal charges in connection with an illegal sale of the parastatal’s houses worth Sh68 million interferes with his fundamental rights.
He says if the AG proceeds with the prosecution of the case before the magistrate’s court, it would amount to perversion of the course of justice and endorsing illegalities of the Kenya Anti-corruption Commission (KACC).
Okungu says proceeding with the case is oppressive and vexatious and therefore an abuse of the court process.
In its response filed in court, KACC claims the inclusion of the Energy PS as a witness does not in any way negate the principle of presumption of innocence.
The prosecution allege Okungu had failed to comply with the guidelines of the board of directors given to him on October 5, 2005.