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7 court cases that made headlines in 2023 [Pulse Picks]

Pulse Picks seven cases in the corridors of justice that made headlines in 2023

7 court cases that made headlines in 2023

In the intricate realm of legal proceedings, the year 2023 unfolded as a captivating chapter, characterized by compelling courtroom battles, landmark judicial decisions, and cases that seized the public's attention.

From prominent trials to groundbreaking legal judgments, the judicial arena served as a stage for intense scrutiny and noteworthy developments.

This article takes a closer look at the key legal cases that not only dominated headlines but also played a pivotal role in shaping legal conversations in 2023.

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In March, the High Court in Nairobi delivered a significant ruling by barring Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) sworn in by Deputy President Ruto from assuming office.

Lady Justice Hedwig Ong'udi, in her decision, deemed the case urgent and of public interest.

The Law Society of Kenya, in collaboration with Katiba Institute, filed a petition challenging the CAS appointments, leading to conservatory orders restraining the 50 CASs from assuming office, receiving salaries, or enjoying associated benefits.

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President Ruto faced a setback in June when the High Court suspended the implementation of the Finance Act 2023. Justice Mugure Thande, in a ruling on June 30, issued conservatory orders halting the law's implementation.

The decision followed a legal challenge by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, who questioned the constitutionality of the bill.

The lawsuit targeted Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u, Attorney General Justin Muturi, and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) acting commissioner-general Rispah Simiyu.

In November, the High Court intervened to halt the implementation of new charges and levies on identity card applications and replacements.

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Magare Gikenyi, a Kenyan citizen, sought legal recourse, urging the court to set aside the gazette notice pending the hearing of his case.

A case that gripped headlines throughout the year involved controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie and his aides, who faced charges related to the Shakahola massacre.

Mackenzie, arrested in April, was held in police custody for over six months after mass graves were discovered on his 800-acre property in Kilifi County.

Prosecutors alleged that Mackenzie instructed his followers to starve to death in a bid to meet Jesus.

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Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago found himself in court over the Finland scholarship saga.

Mandago faced accusations of establishing the Uasin Gishu Education Trust Fund to sponsor university students, collecting approximately Sh1 billion from around 200 contributors.

However, the program failed to materialize, and the funds remained unaccounted for.

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Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich secured a significant legal victory as the Nairobi anti-corruption court acquitted him and eight co-accused in the Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dam graft case.

The court cited a lack of evidence and criticized the prosecution for not questioning 41 witnesses who testified in the case.

Former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala faced charges of fraudulently transferring Sh8.5 billion from the tourism fund for the construction of the Utalii College Coast Branch.

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Balala, along with three others, including Leah Adda Gwiyo and Joseph Odero, was arraigned in court and released on a Sh1 million cash bail.

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