Baraza Tribunal begins work in secrecy
| Jul 2nd 2012 | 2 min read
By Wahome Thuku
Secrecy still surrounds the investigation into the conduct of suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza which started its work Monday in earnest.
The morning session during which Ms Baraza and her acused Rebecca Kerubo attended was held behind closed doors at the Kenyatta International Conference Center.
Neither the tribunal chairman Augustine Ramadhan nor did the lawyers for Baraza or Kerubo speak to the journalists who camped outside the chambers for three hours.
Baraza was suspended in January following accusations that she had assaulted Ms Kerubo a security guard at the Village Market shopping Mall in upmarket Gigiri area in Nairobi and threatening to shoot her on New Year’s eve
Ms Kerubo claims the DCJ pinched her nose inside a Chemist when the guard asked her to submit her bag for security check.
Ms Baraza allegedly assaulted Kerubo for not recognizing her as the Deputy Chief Justice and later threatened to shoot her with a pistol taken from her bodyguard. Ms Baraza denied the claims saying she did not carry any firearms.
After preliminary inquiries the Judicial Service Commission asked President Kibaki to set up a tribunal to investigate the allegations.
The tribunal comprises of Ramadhan a former Chief Justice of Tanzania, former University of Nairobi don Prof Judith Behemuka, retired High Court judge Philip Ransley, Surinder Kapila, Beuttah Siganga, Grace Madoka and Prof Mugambi Kanyua.
Soon after being suspended, she moved to the High Court and managed to have the investigations suspended, on the ground that her rights would be violated by the tribunal.
But in March she lost the application with three judges Mohammed Warsame, George Odunga and Hellen Omondi ruled that there was no evidence her right would be violated.
Ms Baraza is represented by lawyer Kioko Kilukumi. But despite an open-door policy which she had initiated in the judiciary since being appointed DCJ in June last year, Ms Baraza has maintained that the investigation into the allegations will be conducted in private and the public will only be told of the final verdict.
Currently she is on half salary until she is either removed from the judiciary or reinstated.
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