August 17, 2018

MP asks High Court to Bar Lawyers in Rape Case

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By Derrick Kiplagat

Imenti MP Gideon Mwiti has moved to the High Court to file a petition against the rape victim’s lawyers, barring them from being enjoined in the rape case against him. The troubled MP claims that the victims lawyer Muciimi Mbaka is acting as a co-prosecutor, which is contrary to the law.
The Member of Parliament has asked the court to issue temporary orders barring the victim’s lawyers Muciimi Mbaka and Teresia Omondi from tendering evidence or submitting as co-prosecutors in the rape case.
The MP through his lawyers John Khaminwa and Henry Karauka also wants the criminal case stopped pending the hearing and determination of the application by the court. “The party mandated under the constitution to prosecute on behalf of the state is the DPP who has the power to delegate and also has duties to be in full control of prosecutions,” Mwiti stated. The MP said there can only be one prosecutor from the DPP’s office.
The Member of Parliament moved on to say that the victim’s lawyers have allegedly tampered with the evidence which will reduce chances of fair trial arguing that the lawyers have acted as witnesses in the case. “There is no provision in law that allows the respondents being advocates acting for the complainant to take the active role in the prosecution of the criminal case.”
He complained to the court that he will suffer prejudice if the two lawyers are allowed to continue playing an active role as prosecutors in the case. Mr Mwiti also challenges the constitutionality of the Sexual Offences Act to the effect that a sentence for a conviction is determined as a minimum period which he claims is contravention of separation of powers of the Legislature has encroached on the powers of the judiciary.
Mr. Mwiti is currently facing prosecution on alleged rape and illegal detention of a woman at his Westlands office and this is not the first time he has moved to court seeking an injunction. His first petition to the High Court was to bar police from arresting him while investigations were being conducted stating an arrest would make the legislator appear guilty even before investigations and trial had begun. Several rights and lobby groups have also expressed interest in the case with several groups demanding that Mwiti step down from office until he is proven innocent. Others have asked that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions hurry the process so that justice can be served and impunity put to an end.

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