It was relief for Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu after the High court suspended criminal proceedings against her.
Justices Hellen Omondi, Mumbi Ngugi, Francis Tuiyot, William Musyoka and Chacha Mwita ruled that Mwilu should not be prosecuted as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations obtained its evidence illegally.
The nature of investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations when scrutinizing transactions between Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Imperial Bank Limited over alleged failure to pay stamp duty has come to haunt the Director of Public prosecution’s bid to prosecute Mwilu.
In a ruling by a five judge bench the court quashed criminal proceedings against Mwilu saying the DCI violated Mwilu’s right to privacy in obtaining its evidence.
On the counts relating to the abuse of office against the DCJ, the court said the matter ought to have been presented to the Judicial Service Commission as it was within the scope of judicial duties.
The judges however said the DPP’s decision to commence criminal proceedings against Mwilu did not violate the Constitution saying no material evidence was presented to support claims that the DPP and the DCI were acting in the interest of third parties.
The DCJ had argued that the investigation into her alleged criminal offences ought to have been investigated by the EACC and not the DCI accusing the two agencies of being used to remove her from office.
The court further dismissed claims by the DCJ that her arrest was not conducted within the law saying even senior judicial officers are not immune to prosecution.
The DPP has however maintained that he will move to the appellate court to challenge today’s ruling.
In the case, Mwilu moved to the high court to challenge her criminal prosecution by the DPP for allegedly obtaining execution of a security belonging to Imperial Bank through false pretence.