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Lawyer Khaminwa walks out of court in Sonko graft case

NAIROBI
By Betty Njeru | March 16th 2021

Lawyer John Khaminwa has walked out of court during the hearing of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s corruption case.

Khaminwa cited bias in the form of not being furnished with the proper documents as the reason for walking out of the proceedings, while also questioning the decision by court to exclude media from coverage.

“I have left the courtroom. I do not think it will be fair for me to be party to proceedings where I don’t even have instructions from the governor, and as such, I will not be of use to him,” he said outside Milimani Law court on Tuesday.

Lawyer Khaminwa added he didn't find any reason for the media to be absent from the hearing, given it was a public hearing.

“Under Article 50 of the Constitution, the media represents the public and there is no way you can shut it out,” Khaminwa said.

Further, he added that one of the accused persons in the case had tested positive for the coronavirus and that an application to Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti to adjourn the hearing given the circumstances was rejected.

 Former Governor Sonko is appearing at the Milimani Law court for the hearing of a Sh10 million corruption case.

The hearing is being held outside the chambers as per the Covid-19 protocols.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti had earlier dismissed an application for adjournment by Sonko’s defence lawyers, saying an independent medical report shows that he is fit to stand trial.

Magistrate  Ogoti ruled that a psychiatric report shows the former governor is mentally sound.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko appears at Milimani Law Courts for his corruption case. [Mark Namaswa, Standard]

On March 4, Ogoti also dismissed an application by the ex- governor to recuse himself from handling his (Sonko’s) case.

The magistrate ruled that Sonko’s defence team had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove his alleged bias and attempts to subvert justice.

Sonko’s case has been on since September 2020.

Of late, Sonko has been in and out of court from Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted until last week.

Sonko has been appearing in court in the company of a medical worker and is facing a Sh10 million graft case before Trial Magistrate Douglas Ogoti and another Sh14 million corruption case before Anti-Corruption Court Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko.

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