NAIROBI (Reuters) – The Kenyan Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily suspended criminal proceedings against the Deputy Supreme Court Justice, who had been arrested the day before and charged with allegations of corruption, taxes and improper business with a local bank set.
Kenya's Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu appears at the Milimani Court after being arrested on 29 August 201
Judge Chacha Mwita said, "I authorize the Deputy Chief Judge (Philomena Mwilu) to stop trial before the lower court, and I hereby grant a stay, meaning that the case will be stopped . "
He said the case raised constitutional issues. "The indictment of the Deputy Chief Justice is about a commercial transaction between her and a private institution … the court has to decide if this is a criminal offense."
Mwilu was charged on Tuesday night, hours after his arrest, with 5 million Kenyan shillings ($ 49,640) on personal bail.
Attorney General Noordin Mohamed Haji said at a press conference on Tuesday that Mwilu had used her office for personal purposes, undermining public integrity in the judiciary. [L8N1VJ490]
He said that he believes evidence against them is sufficient for "a reasonable chance of conviction" and that it is in the public interest to initiate criminal proceedings.
The government launched a new anti-graft campaign this year in East Africa's richest economy per capita, led by Haji, a former deputy head of the National Intelligence Service, who prosecuted dozens of officials and businessmen.
The Deputy Supreme Court's detention has been the case since a series of corruption-related arrests began several months ago.
Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Letter from Omar Mohammed; Edited by Maggie Fick, Richard Balmforth