A Nairobi Court has issued a warrant of arrest against lawyer Kethi Kilonzo for failing to show up in court during a mention of a case she charged with stealing a voter registration card.
Chief magistrate Hannah Ndung’u ruled that although she was aware of a High Court order temporarily stopping Ms Kilonzo’s continued trial, she had to be present in court for the mention.
“I have been made aware of an order from the High Court staying the proceedings before this court. The order however did not say that she be absent when the case is being mentioned and therefore issue a warrant of arrest against her,” said Ndung’u.
The High Court on Monday stopped the trial of Ms Kilonzo and former electoral commission’s manager for electoral planning and logistics Godfrey Ninito Lemiso pending the determination of her application challenging the proceedings.
Justice Mbogholi Msagha ruled that Ms Kilonzo’s application seeking to compel the Director of Public Prosecution to provide her with crucial documents outweighed her trial at the magistrate’s court and stopped it until he makes a determination.
The judge also ordered the trial magistrate, Ms Ndung’u, to produce the file before him on July 10 when he will mention the matter for further directions.
Ms Kilonzo sought to stop her prosecution arguing that failure by the DPP to supply her with all the documents they intend to rely on in the case is a violation of her right to a fair trial.
She accused the DPP of disobeying an earlier court order which directed his office to avail the documents and also the trial magistrate for allowing the trial to proceed despite her protest over the missing documents.
It was the second time Ms Kilonzo is attempting to stop her trial after chief magistrate Hannah Ndung’u in March declined to terminate the case.
The magistrate dismissed her application to stop the criminal trial saying that she could not force the DPP to disclose materials which the lawyer claimed were being withheld.
Ms Ndung’u ruled that the prosecution cannot be asked to produce materials they say are not relevant to the case and which they will not rely on.
Ms Kilonzo and Mr Lemiso, former IEBC’s manager for electoral planning and logistics, are facing four counts of stealing, handling stolen goods, uttering false document and neglect of official duty.
They are accused of stealing a voter acknowledgment slip valued at Sh5 between November 19 2012 and June 27 2013 in Nairobi County.
Ms Kilonzo faces two other counts of handling stolen goods and uttering a false document in which it is alleged she uttered the acknowledgement slip to returning officer Salad Boru Guracha so as to be cleared to vie for the Makueni Senatorial seat.
Mr Lemiso faces an additional charge of neglect of his official duties.
Court blocks Kethi Kilonzo’s voter card theft trial
The High Court has stopped the trial of lawyer Kethi Kilonzo over allegations of voter registration card theft and handling stolen goods.
Ms Kilonzo’s application seeking to compel the Director of Public Prosecutions to provide her with crucial documents preceded her trial at the magistrate’s court, ruled Mr Justice Mbogholi Msagha.
The judge stopped the trial until he made a determination on the application.
Ms Kilonzo is seeking to stop her prosecution, arguing that failure by the DPP to supply her defence team with all the documents they need for the case was a violation of her right to a fair trial. She accused the DPP of disobeying an earlier court order which directed his office to provide the documents and also the magistrate for allowing the trial to proceed despite her protest.
“We want an order enforcing a directive that we be supplied with the exhibits before the trial commences.
“Failure to which the charges against Ms Kilonzo and her co-accused Godfrey Ninito Lemiso be dismissed,” said lawyer Julie Soweto.
Ms Soweto argued that the failure by the DPP to supply the documents had infringed on Ms Kilonzo’s right to access to justice.
This was the second time that Ms Kilonzo was attempting to stop her trial after a previous bid failed.
– See more at: http://saharatribune.com/2014/06/court-issues-arrest-warrant-against-kethi-kilonzo/?fb_action_ids=10152247296694021&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_ref=pub-standard&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582#sthash.OhlaH0at.dpuf