A 69-year-old man was slapped with a 1-day jail term for assaulting a lawyer during a cross-examination session inside a courtroom. He argued that the lawyer was asking him too many questions in a case where he was the witness.
John Edward Njeru, who is a former Director of Operations Kenya Police Service, is said to have assaulted lawyer Alex Kimani with a heavy blow on his abdomen sustaining serious injuries while being cross-examined by the lawyer who was representing the accused person in the case.
The witness is said to have been angered by the repeated questions by the lawyer amidst the case hearing.
The lawyer had requested the court to allow him to get closer to the witness, who was seated, in order to show him some documents but when the lawyer went near him the witness gave him a heavy blow on his stomach. The court was forced to order for detention of the witness.
The lawyer later went to the hospital for medical check up.
While holding brief for him on Tuesday, September 28, lawyer Waweru Benson holding told Senior Principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi that Kimani could not appear in court since he is still in serious abdominal pain.
“After the yesterday’s incident, my colleague (Kimani) developed a sharp pain in his abdomen. He visited the hospital was advised by the doctor to undergo a scan this morning to ascertain the cause of the pain,” Waweru said.
He added; “The accused person has a right of presentation and no one can stop that representation either by word of mouth or assault as it happened yesterday. No one is above the law. I have information that the complainant used abusive language to a prosecutor in a previous court.”
He further invited the prosecution to join the defence to condemn the action and asked the court to continue detaining the witness for more days until the matter is reported to the police.
The elderly man who could not walk on his own is a complainant in a case where a businessman Gabriel Njoroge Mbuthia allegedly defrauded him by reportedly forging a certificate of lease for the land in Nanyuki Municipality.
The businessman is alleged to have committed the offence on July 21, 2009, at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya.
“Following the unfortunate incident that happened yesterday that a witness physically confronted a lawyer, I ordered the witness to be detained for one day. I take notice that the lawyer is unwell due to the incident and I urge him to report to the nearest police station for officers to carry out investigations and file a report in court.
The action is totally unacceptable in this court and it’s seriously condemned,” the magistrate ruled.
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