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HomeTop StoriesCJ Koome re-assures judicial officers of independence as DCI speaks on arrests

CJ Koome re-assures judicial officers of independence as DCI speaks on arrests

The judiciary has come out guns blazing on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) over the arrest, “harassment” of Justices Aggrey Muchelule and Said Chitembwe.

Chief Justice Martha Koome today said she was not notified of the arrests of the two, which have created anxiety among colleagues in the sector.

“No formal complaint has been made to me as the Head of Judiciary or Chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission. The arrest of the two judges has caused anxiety among judges and judicial officers,” Koome said.

Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) condemned the arrest of the two judges on July 22, alleging the attack by DCI detectives was aimed at influencing the operations of judiciary.

“The fact that public investigations against the judges are being conducted in secrecy… that the search found nothing, and that the judges were then asked to record statements on activities of the day, confirms our position that this is pure harassment with the intention to instil fear in judges,” Derrick Kuto, KMJA Secretary-General said.

“Influencing the judiciary”

Despite the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) being tasked with probing public officers in question, Noordin Haji distanced himself from the said arrests, claiming he was uninformed.

Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule
Justices Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule who were arrested by DCI yesterday on allegations of corruption and abuse of office. PHOTO/FILE

“The DPP is not aware of circumstances which led to arrest or questioning of 2 Judges neither has his office received any investigation files concerning them. In the event the file (s) is presented to the ODPP for advice, the DPP will direct as appropriate,” Haji said.

In a statement released earlier today, DCI maintained its actions were within the Constitution.

“Following allegations of corruption and abuse of office, the DCI acting on intelligence and as guided under Article 244(b) of the Constitution engaged Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, Justice Aggrey Muchelule… to assist with investigations,” DCI said.

Contrary to allegations by KMJA of manhandling, pushing them, shouting at them and ransacking their offices at the Milimani Law Courts, the sleuths said after recording their statements, they released the judges.

Judiciary insisted this trend of ‘judges manipulation’ is also at play in the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) that awaits Court of Appeal ruling on August 20.

“High ranking government officers openly threatened the five judges who heard and determined the BBI petitions on 13th May 2021 in the high court,” Kuto added.

Koome assured once investigations into allegations made against Judges Muchelule and Chitembwe were concluded, she will release a full statement.

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