Two Kenyan Judges face criminal charges, one for attempted murder

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A Kenyan Judge was on Tuesday arraigned in court, charged with attempted murder for stabbing a driver, Robert Kamau, on the stomach. Kenyan High Court Judge George Kariuki denied stabbing Kamau before a Nairobi Magistrate court, presided over by Stella Muketi.

The reported attack occurred in Nairobi on Sunday, 18 October, after a road accident along Abadere Road, leading to a rich suburb. Kamau accused Justice Kariuki of attacking him after the accident. The two were driving home in the early hours of Sunday when their cars were involved in a collision.

Kamau said the two of them agreed to record statements with the Police in Spring Valley in Nairobi’s Lower Kabete area, about 15 km from downtown Nairobi, when the Judge suddenly changed his mind and blocked the road using his government car.

The Judge then ordered his fellow driver to switch off his engine, took away the car keys before stabbing him, Kamau told reporters from his hospital bed where he was admitted.

“We had agreed to record Police statements after the accident. We were driving to Spring Valley Police Station. But he (the Judge) blocked the road using his car, took away my car keys and he told me I was the one who knocked his car,” Kamau said.

Justice Kariuki is the second high-profile judicial officer to face criminal charges in recent weeks. The Judge faces up to life imprisonment if convicted of the attempted murder charge.

Last week, a Senior Resident Magistrate was charged in a Nairobi court for receiving a bribe. Kenya’s Judiciary has been facing a barrage of criticism from lawyers and human rights activists over the slow pace of hearing and concluding cases.

In Kenya, a Judge is appointed by the President on the recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission. The Judge enjoys full independence and can only be removed if a panel of investigators appointed by the President finds him or her guilty of misconduct.

It is not immediately clear if Justice Kariuki faces the risk of losing his post.

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