City lawyer's testimony that suspect has Covid19 symptoms interrupts court session

The suspect had difficulty breathing

Kibera Law Courts in Nairobi

There was panic at the Kibera Law Courts after a city lawyer told the presiding magistrate that his client, a suspect in a robbery with violence case, was having Covid19 symptoms.

Lawyer Robert Odanga told the court that his client was in need of a Covid19 test as he was feeling unwell and had difficulty in breathing - one of the symptoms of the highly contagious disease.

The suspect, Bernard Furaha, was charged alongside two other people with robbing Rahab Nyoro phones worth 234,000 using violence.

The claims by Furaha's lawyer caused Renee Kitagwa to ask for a thirty-minute break to restore calm in the tense court room.

When the session resumed, the state lawyers denied that Furaha had Covid19 and argued that the difficulty in breathing was a result of asthma.

Lawyer Odanga complained that his client had been seriously assaulted while in police custody. The magistrate asked Furaha to remove his shirt to ascertain the claims made by the city lawyer.

Furaha and his two co-accused were released on a Sh200,000 bond or Sh100,000 bail with the surety in same amount.

The Kibera Law Courts is one of the court rooms that have continued to have physical sessions amid the down scaling of physical court sessions.

Higher courts in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal have resorted to technology with judgments and submissions being done electronically on video link and other virtual platforms.

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