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DPP wants new bench for Ojaamong graft hearing

By Nancy Gitonga
Tuesday, November 17th, 2020
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong in court. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji yesterday filed a fresh application asking Chief Justice David Maraga to form a new Bench to hear a case by Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong (below) and eight others.

Appearing before Justice James Wakiaga, Haji said he wants the formation of an uneven number of judges to be constituted by the Chief Justice to hear the case where Ojaamong and others are seeking to have their ongoing Sh8 million graft declared as a mistrial.

“We want the Bench to determine a number of issues among them whether the mere fact of informing a witness during trial that they risk being dealt with for perjury by itself constitute a threat to the witness, whether a party is allowed to record proceedings in court,” says the DPP.

Haji says that the case by the accused persons raises substantial questions of law as it seeks the declaration of a mistrial in the subordinate court against prosecution.

Ojaamong, in response says DPP’s application has not met the threshold set out in the cases above to allow the petition to be referred to the Cj.

This is after Ojaamong filed a petition saying that he had suffered a mistrial when the prosecution lawyers threatened and intimidated his witness to fix him adding that does not feel comfortable proceeding with his evidence.

The county boss and eight others have since obtained an order temporarily stayed their further prosecution at the lower court pending the hearing of the application seeking to have the case declared a mistrial and the charges against them county boss and eight others terminated. 

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