Court: Barasa can now be arrested and handed to ICC
Nairobi, Kenya: The High Court has quashed orders stopping the arrest of journalist Walter Barasa after his lawyer, Kibe Mungai, failed to appear for the hearing.
The lifting of the stay orders, which Barasa had earlier obtained means that Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku can now apply for an arrest warrant against him and hand him for trial at the ICC.
Justice Richard Mwongo while dismissing the application by Kibe to have the matter adjourned and he be granted 11 days to file a notice of appeal against the earlier ruling that had dismissed Barasa’s case, said the lawyer was taking advantage of the stay orders to run other matters.
“It is not acceptable for the counsel to take the extension of the stay orders that he sought. I therefore discharge the order and the ruling that had been made on January 31, this year shall take effect,” said Mwongo. No valid reasons
The judge in his ruling noted that the counsel did not communicate with the court that he had another matter to attend to in Kerugoya. Mwongo said: “The letter by Mr Kibe notifying he would not be present today for the hearing has not been filed in the court.” The judge added that an appeal cannot be used as a reason for staying orders of court proceedings. He noted that he would only grant an adjournment if there were valid reasons for the same. He said the counsel would have communicated the difficulties he would face in litigating the matter while the Embu Governor’s Martin Wambora case, which he was party to, was running before a three judge bench in Kerugoya. The counsel who was holding brief for Kibe had told the court that the judges had imposed the date of hearing of Wambora’s case thus Kibe had to appear before them Wednesday.