KENYA’S high court on Wednesday temporarily halted proceedings against the deputy supreme court justice, who was arrested on Tuesday and charged on suspicion of corruption, failure to pay taxes and improper dealings with a local bank.
Judge Chacha Mwita said: ‘I allow the application filed by deputy chief justice [Philomena Mwilu] seeking to stop proceedings in the lower court and I hereby grant a stay, meaning stopping the case.’ He said the case raises constitutional issues.
‘The charges facing the deputy chief justice are over a commercial transaction between her and a private institution … the court needs to determine whether that amounts to a criminal offence.’
Mwilu was charged on Tuesday evening, hours after being arrested, and released on a personal bond of 5-million Kenyan shillings ($49,640).
Chief public prosecutor Noordin Mohamed Haji told a news conference on Tuesday that Mwilu had abused her office for personal gain, undermining public integrity in the judiciary.
He said he believes evidence against her is sufficient for ‘a reasonable prospect of conviction’ and it is in the public interest for criminal proceedings to be brought.
The government launched a new anti-graft push this year, led by Haji, a former deputy head of national intelligence, who has brought criminal charges against dozens of civil servants and business people.