DPP WANTS SENATORS STOPPED FROM REPRESENTING DCJ IN CASES BEFORE COURT.

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Queen's Counsel Khawar Mehmood Qureshi with DCJ Mwilu's lawyers James Orengo and Okong'o Omugen at Milimani Law Courts.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Director Public Prosecution has filed an application seeking to bar senators James Orengo and Okong’o Omogeni from representing Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Philomena Mwilu in a petition pending in court.

In the application is interest of justice and in public interest the two senior counsel be barred from appearing before Chief magistrate Court and in the High Court, due to a clear conflict of interest.

“The petitioner will not suffer any prejudice if the orders sought are granted,” urged DPP.

The DPP said on December 5, a muilti-agency team which included, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti and Director Assets Recovery Agency Director Muthoni Kimani appeared before senate committee on justice, legal affairs and human rights where the two are members of the committee.

The application said the committee asked a number of questions related to the engagement of Khawar Mehmood Qureshi QC to act on behalf of the DPP in the matter against DCJ and petition she filed in the High Court.

DPP claim during the session Orengo and Okong’o actively participated by raising several questions to the DPP in regard to engagement of Prof Qureshi QC to act for DPP and this is a clear case of conflicted of interest.

“There is clear conflict of interstate by both senators Orengo and Okong’o by them participating during the senate committee and later appear in court and the appointment of Prof Qureshi,” the DPP said.

It is their argument that both senators actively participated in providing oversight to the office of ODPP.
DPP through principal director of public prosecution Duncan Ondimu applied for the committee proceedings.

Clerk of the senate responded to the DPP’s letter and has attached the proceedings of the committee.

In supporting affidavit, ssistant director of public prosecution Lilian Ogwora, says that when the matter came up for mention for directions on 6 of December both DCJ Mwilu lawyers Orengo and Okongo raised objections against Qureshi’s appointment.

She says paragraph 15 of the legal affairs committee is clear indication of conflict of interests by the two senior lawyers.

“The banking Act is of particular to us because the amendment that came on the floor of the house on Section 33(c) has put us in a very difficult position in terms of fighting money laundering. The amendment that was introduced into Finance Act has put us in a position where we require new regulations on to know your client (KYC) which then puts the country in a bit of risk. This is because if we throw your client (KYC), then our Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which is a global body which has standards in money laundering will find that Kenya is not fighting money laundering,” states paragraph 15 of senate legal affairs committee.

They also sought balance and clarity what suspicious transactions which are required to be reported by money laundering reporting officer in the banks.

“In my interaction with the banks, this is something that needs to come out clearly. However, right now, there is some confusion in terms of implementing that KYC,” State part of legal committee proceedings.

DPP says the two lawyers participating during the senate committee on Justice, legal affairs and human rights where the questions of QC Qureshi representing DPP in the petition was raised and appearing the following day in court and both senators actively participating in providing oversight to the office of the ODPP, they should cease acting for DCJ Mwilu in the two matters before court.

He urged the court due those reason the two be barred from appearing in both matters before criminal court and in the high court for the interest of justice and general public.

Senior counsel James Orengo challenged the legality of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appointment of Qureshi to act for the DPP without being first admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

But the DPP said Mwilu’s lawyers, Orengo and Okong’o Omogeni, should disqualify themselves from the case on grounds that they are senators who enjoy parliamentary privileges to quiz him in Senate committees.

Mwilu is facing charges of abuse of office, failure to pay stamp tax, improperly obtaining Sh12 million from Imperial Bank, and obtaining security for a loan by false pretence.

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