JUDICIARY WILL NOT SHELTER CORRUPT OFFICIALS, CJ MARAGA VOWS.

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Chief Justice David Maraga with Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Executive Halakhe Wako during the launch of Anti corruption and Economic Crimes Division of the high court on Wednesday December 15,2016 (PHOTO BY NT).

BY THOMAS KARIUKI.

The Judiciary has vowed to conclude corruption cases in 90 days after they are filed.

Chief Justice David Maraga also cautioned lawyers that if they agree to handle corruption cases, then they should be ready to appear in court back to back.

Justice Maraga said that the judiciary will not be used as a shelter or a safe haven to hide corrupt officials.

However, all accused persons will be offered all the rights accorded to an accused.

He said this while launching a new division of the High Court that will be handling corruption and economic crime cases alone.

He also challenged the Director of Public Prosecution and the those involved in investigations to ensure that they provide meritable evidence to avoid “miscarriage of justice.”

“Give us evidence we shall convict, if you don’t, we shall acquit,”

“We will support the fight against corruption. Judiciary will not be accused of delaying cases,” justice Maraga said.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Comission Chief Executive Halakhe Wako who was also attending the launch said that the way to stop corrupt officials is by ensuring that there is certainty of detection, apprehension and punishment irrespective their status in the society.

“We pass the baton to the prosecutor and the Judiciary for ensuring certainty of punishment to the offender, “he said

The DPP asked judges and magistrates to live up to the expectations of the public saying that there are 90 special prosecutors who team up with the judges and magistrates to ensure that cases touching on corruption are heard expeditiously.

Justice Hedwig Ong’undi Imbosa will be the presiding judge of the anti-corruption and economic crimes division.

Justice Lydia Achode will serves as her deputy.

The two will lead a team of over 10 magistrates who include, Litizia Wachira, Martha Mutuku, Liz Gicheha, Godfrey Oduor, Rose Makungu, Jared Magori, Anne Mwangi, Peter Ooko and Florence Macharia.

“If you give us evidence, we shall convict, if you don’t give us evidence to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt, we shall acquit,” CJ Maraga said.

According to new practice directions for the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes division, all corruption cases will now be determined within three months.

“All urgent applications shall be fast tracked, heard and determined within 60 days, all other ones shall be dealt with within 90 days,” the CJ said.

In the new rules, corruption cases would exceptionally be allowed to exceed that period if only there is good reason to extend the allocated time.

The guidelines require that mention of cases be limited to only deserving cases and that if need be, parties would have to write to the Deputy Registrar so as to be given the discretion to have such.

And to enable judges prepare rulings and judgments on time, parties will be required to send to the court soft copies of the case documents using the court email address.

The rules also encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution in settling matters before they are dragged to court.

Parties who fail to comply with the new set of rules will face a penalty from the court for being non compliant.

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