Kamlesh Pattni's Goldenberg file was under lock and key

Businessman Kamlesh Pattni

A tribunal has been told that businessman Kamlesh Pattni's file was among the judicial review files kept under lock and key due to complaints by litigants.

Witnesses testifying before the Justice David Maraga-chaired tribunal said the case file was "sensitive".

The tribunal is investigating the suitability of suspended judge Joseph Mutava to continue serving as a Judiciary officer.

The then Milimani Commercial and Admiral Division Executive Officer Eric Obendo told the tribunal that Pattni's file was among the files he was keeping under lock and key.

Such files were kept under the purview of the Principal Judge or Chief Justice, due to complaints by lawyers.

Mr Obendo said he did not notice any peculiar interest by Justice Mutava in the file in relation to the Goldenberg scandal, saying he only took it to him after being directed to by the then Deputy Registrar Dominica Nyambu.

"At no time did Justice Mutava talk to me about the case file. If a file was from another division, I would keep it separate to avoid mixing files," he told the tribunal sitting in Nairobi.

Obendo further informed the tribunal that lawyer Nelson Havi, who is among the people who lodged complaints against Mutava, asked for the file and made copies from some of the documents so that he could make an application.

The then court clerk attached to the embattled judge, Violet Waswa, said she first saw the file on August 10, 2012 during a court vacation when Mutava was sitting as a duty judge at the Milimani Commercial and Admiral Division.

On September 24, Ms Waswa took the file plus others to court, and when she returned the file to the registry, she was told to take it to Obendo since it was a sensitive file.

She said she received a certificate of urgency from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) directing her to place the file before Mutava since he was on duty that week.

The witness informed the sitting that the judge handled several other files, not just the Mr Pattni's.

Earlier in the week, Justice Weldon Korir confirmed requesting the accused judge to step in for him during the vacation but denied asking Mutava to preside over Pattni's application, which sought to stop the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions from preferring fresh charges against him in relation to the Goldenberg scandal.