Kamlesh Patni at a Milimani Law Court during a mention of a case he is charged with conspiracy to defraud the state over Goldenberg saga on March 29, 2012.(FILE PHOTO)
BY THOMAS KARIUKI.
An advocate who represented the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Goldenberg case presided over by Judge Joseph Mutava in 2012 testified on Tuesday that he did not object to a Judicial Review matter being handled in the Commercial Division.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Mr James Mungai Warui also told the tribunal looking into the conduct of suspended judge Mutava that he was too inexperienced in High Court matters to even tell the difference between judges presiding from various divisions.
“Myself I’m involved in anti-corruption cases in the lower courts. I rarely go the High Court unless I’m following a matter like this one which I was handling in the lower court. So I didn’t know who was in which division of the High Court. So when I was served with a mention notice to appear before Justice Mutava I didn’t bother to look behind the notice to find whether Justice Mutava is in that division,” he testified.
He also said he could not recall fellow advocate Nelson Havi applying for the file to be placed before a judge in the Judicial Review Division until the chair of the tribunal, Court of Appeal Judge David Magara, made reference to Mutava’s recording of the proceedings.
Through Mr Warui’s testimony, Lead Assisting Counsel Nazima Malik sought to prove that Kamlesh Pattni – through his lawyer Bernard Kalove – schemed to have Pattni’s application, for orders barring his continued prosecution over the Sh5.8 billion Goldenberg affair, heard by justice Mutava.
Lawyer Kalove, she said she had already established, wrote to the Deputy Registrar sitting in the Milimani Law Courts seeking to have their file placed before judge Mutava for the reason that “all parties” needed clarification on the ex-parte orders for stay he made on August 10, 2012 during the judges’ vacation period.
Mr Warui told the tribunal that the clarifications were neither sought nor needed.
He testified that a copy of the letter he received from Mr Kalove did not raise points for clarifications and simply notified him to appear before judge Mutava.
“The difference between the two letters is the first paragraph. This one talks about some clarifications to be made. My letter said that we were just called to appear before the judge for direction,” he testified.
The tribunal thereafter acceded to judge Mutava’s application for an adjournment to allow him and its secretariat prepare for a court date before High Court judge Joseph Onguto.
Judge Mutava had applied to have Justice Onguto stop the tribunal from sitting on grounds that it no longer retains the jurisdiction to determine his suitability to continue serving as a judge.