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Friday, September 3, 2021 – Chief Justice Martha Karambu Koome has outlined new procedures that will guide the arrest and subsequent prosecution of judges and magistrates.
This follows an arbitrary arrest and questioning of Justices Aggrey Muchelule and Said Juma Chitembwe by detectives drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over allegations of corruption.
Speaking to reporters at her chambers yesterday, Koome made it clear that no judge should be arrested in the line of duty: In their chambers or even in courtrooms.
She insisted that if a judge is wanted for any offense, the investigating bodies should first write an official letter to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which will then decide if they should be arrested or not.
“The same way you cannot arrest a Member of Parliament when they are about to go and debate or raid the State House, it is the same way you cannot raid the judges’ chambers to arrest a judge or a magistrate.”
“They are not above the law, if somebody is infraction let somebody come and tell the Judiciary Service Commission, which is in charge of disciplinary of the Judges,” Koome stated.
Koome argued that judges are respected members and should not be dragged to police cells where they meet the same people they have prosecuted.
She also claimed that their arrests interfere with judicial independence.
“This is a very heavy responsibility that falls on judges as well as magistrates,” she said.
The Kenyan DAILY POST