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Judge Philip Tunoi probe to be held in camera

By Kamau Muthoni | Apr 5th 2016 | 2 min read
Judge Philip Tunoi is facing probe for allegedly receiving Sh200 million to influence Governor Kidero's election petition. (Photo: File/Standard)

Supreme Court judge Philip Tunoi's trial over Sh200 million bribery allegations will now be held in camera.

The decision to have the hearings done in private was arrived at even as Judicial Service Commission came under sharp criticsm over an article ran by a local daily newspaper touching on the probe.

JSC was reprimanded over the source of the article which was allegedly meant to 'influence' the final verdict of the tribunal led by Sharad Rao.

Rao in his directions said that if the Willy Mutunga-led commission dished out the information, it should shoulder the burden and stay away from the trial.

"If the article came from JSC, they should own up and desist from making further comment that can prejudice the judge," he directed.

The article that was published Tuesday drew angry reaction from the tribunal and judge Tunoi's lawyer who said that a 'guilty' verdict had already been passed even before the hearing kicked off.

Assisting counsel Paul Nyamodi who told the tribunal that the case was being prosecuted in the media first raised the issue of JSC report.

“The story written today in the pendency of the tribunal is inappropriate. It is meant to influence the tribunal.”

 Nyamodi said whilst requesting the nine member team to block the media from publishing more stories based on the Judicial Service Commission’s report on the judge.

"The tribunal should refrain the papers from publishing such kind of articles. They will influence the proceedings," he urged the tribunal.

Judge Tunoi's lawyer Fred Ngatia expressed his client's rage saying that JSC should be compelled to own up or distance itself from the article.”

"The press has to leave the tribunal to run its affairs.  JSC cannot hide under newspapers to run prejudicial and scandalous articles. Invite JSC if they are part to the article and we will cross examine them on the attack to the judge,” the lawyer said.

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