Kenya's judges who nullified election face 'savage' threats

2017-09-20 08:27
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Nairobi - Attempts to intimidate Kenya's Supreme Court judges after they nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election have been "unlawful and savage in nature," the nation's judiciary said Tuesday, as police used tear gas on ruling party supporters who protested outside the court demanding the judges' removal.

The protests came a day after three petitions were filed asking the Judicial Service Commission to remove Chief Justice David Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola.

The petitions claim misconduct and bias. Maraga and three other justices ruled 4-2 to annul Kenyatta's re-election and call for a new election, which is set for October 17.

Ruling Jubilee Party supporters also burned tires and blocked one of the major highways into the capital, Nairobi.

The demonstrations that started on Monday "are clearly intended to intimidate the judiciary and individual judges," Maraga said, adding that the judges are "prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the Constitution and the rule of law."

Maraga, who spoke to the press alongside other members of the Judicial Service Commission, also said Kenya's police chief Joseph Boinnet has repeatedly ignored calls by the judiciary to act on the threats. Boinnet could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kenyatta has called the Supreme Court judges "crooks" and warned of unspecified action against the judiciary if he is re-elected next month.

Diplomats from 16 Western nations issued a statement condemning a social media campaign with the hashtag "judicial capture" that claims that members of civil society infiltrated the judiciary leading to the annulment of Kenyatta's re-election.

A non-governmental organisation on Monday filed two petitions claiming judges had improper contact with lawyers for opposition leader Raila Odinga during his court challenge of Kenyatta's win. Odinga has claimed the election results were rigged. The Supreme Court ruled the electoral commission committed "irregularities."

Read more on:    uhuru ke­n­yatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  kenya 2017 elections  |  east africa

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