High Court Judge, Justice Alfred Mabeya, has explained why it is difficult to convict high profile individuals in a court of law.
Speaking in an interview with Citizen TV, Justice Mabeya stated that suspects accused of major offences are capable of hiring competent lawyers, who can identify and argue against weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
As a result, these lawyers, out of their experience, convince presiding judges that the evidence presented does not meet the threshold to warrant a conviction.
“Somebody who has stolen from the government and he has all the ability to get a battery of lawyers, the lawyers will take the court through all the motions,” stated Justice Mabeya.
“In the event that the so called big thief, has lawyers who are able to poke holes in the case of the DPP, who am I to convict the person?” he posed.
On the other hand, the judge stated that poor or no legal representation for suspects accused of minor offences makes it easier to convict and jail them.
He was responding to a question from a member of the public on why courts were very ruthless on misdemeanours such as chicken theft while graft lords always found a way to navigate through the court processes and consequently be set free.
“A chicken thief, number one, will not have legal representation. He will come and once he is told you stole a chicken of your neighbour and slaughtered it, he admits it,” he added.
However, he stated that it is the legal process that brought about the reality, and not that the courts were biased against a particular group of people.
“We will also defend and apply the law irrespective of the people who come before us and ensure that justice is served to all,” the Justice finalized.
The prominent judge also made it clear that justice would continue to be expensive for the ordinary Kenyan if the judiciary remained underfunded, for they could not offer judicial services as per the demand.
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