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Kenyatta suspends $2m 'bribe' judge

Kenyatta suspends $2m 'bribe' judge

Kenya

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi and appointed a seven-member tribunal to investigate a $2 million bribery claim against him.

State House spokesman, Manoah Esipisu said on his Twitter page on Tuesday that the president had named judges and magistrates vetting board chairman, Sharad Rao to head the tribunal.

Other members appointed to the tribunal are Judge Roselyn Korir, retired Judge Jonathan Havelock, Ms Judith Guserwa, James Kaberere Gachoka, Abdirashid Abdullahi Hussein and Mr George Munji Wakukha.

Esipisu said the tribunal would investigate the conduct of the suspended judge.

However, president Kenyatta is in Israel on a three-day state visit.

The president had earlier rejected recommendations from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to appoint a tribunal. He had argued suspending Justice Tunoi would create a constitutional crisis.

Kenyatta had written a letter to the Chief Justice and chairman of the JSC, Dr Willy Mutunga on February 19 requesting that they wait for the outcome of an appeal filed by the judge in the High Court challenging a decision to retire him at age 70.

The move triggered outrage with lawyers warning it could lead to the impeachment of the President by the MPs.

Chairman, Kenya law society, Eric Mutua had on Monday expressed fears that Justice Tunoi would go free whether the Court of Appeal upholds or overturns the High Court ruling since the 14 days within which to form a tribunal would have lapsed.

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