Saturday, January 9, 1999
Kuloba probe on, case taken
By ADIERI MULAA
Bribery allegations against Mr
Justice Richard Kuloba will be investigated by the
Attorney-General, the Chief Justice ruled yesterday.
He also disqualified Justice Kuloba
from hearing the Duty Free case and re-assigned it to Kisii
resident judge, Mr Justice Tom Mbaluto.
The hearing will start afresh on
The AG will also be required to
establish whether perjury may have been committed.
"I have carefully considered
the counsel's submissions (and) in the result, the application by
the plaintiff (Kamlesh Pattni) for stay of execution shall be
heard de novo by Justice Mbaluto on January 11," Mr
Justice Chesoni said.
(Mr Justice Mbaluto will best be
remembered for his ruling which postponed the 1992 General
Election in a case filed by the late Jaramogi Odinga).
The chairman of World Duty Free, Mr
Nassir Ibrahim Ali, is locked in a legal tussle with Mr Pattni
over ownership of the Kenya Duty Free shopping complex.
When the case came up before
Justice Kuloba at Milimani commercial court last Wedneday, Mr Ali
claimed the judge had received Sh5 million from Mr Pattni as a
Mr Ali's lawyer, Ochieng' Oduol,
asked the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case
because he would not be impartial.
Following the allegations, Justice
Kuloba announced he would hear evidence about his own integrity
and summoned the CJ, Mr Charles Njonjo, the CID director and an
assistant commissioner of police to testify about what they knew
of Mr Ali's claims.
But the Chief Justice called the
file and summoned the parties to appear before him on Thursday
Mr Pattni was represented by Mr
A.R. Rebello, while Mr Amos Omolo appeared for a former receiver
of Kenya Duty Free shopping complex, Mr Charles Kariuki Gathungo.
The case was heard in private, with
only the lawyers involved allowed in in the CJ's chambers. The
ruling was given in similar fashion.
Mr Chesoni ordered the AG to direct
the Commissioner of Police in terms of the powers conferred upon
him by section 26 (4) of the Constitution for investigation to be
carried out expeditiously to establish evidence of:
the alleged corruption;
perjury contrary to section 108 of
the Penal Code;
conspiracy to defeat justice
contrary to section 117 of the Penal Code; and
any other offence the investigation
Mr Justice Chesoni ordered that
immediate action be taken under the law and the case be mentioned
in court at 9.30 am on January 22, to record the progress of the
investigation and action taken if any.
At the same time, appellate court
judge P.K. Tunoi yesterday allowed an application by Mr Pattni for
stay of proceedings to be heard under certificate of urgency on
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Kenya
yesterday said it was dissatisfied with the ruling of Chief
Justice Chesoni directing the AG to investigate a judge over
The chairman, Mr Nzamba Kitonga,
said it was in order for the CJ to withdraw the Kenya Duty Free
case file from Mr Justice Kuloba and place it before another judge.
"But we did not agree with the
decision that the AG should investigate the matter because the
Constitution sets out the procedure to be followed where there are
allegations of misconduct against a judge," Mr Kitonga said.
He said that would amount to the
judiciary giving the executive power to probe it contrary to the
spirit of judicial independence and separation of powers.
Link : http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/090199/News/News9.html