Maraga warns judges for allowing KRA suspects to wear masks in court

Maraga acts fast

Maraga warns judges for allowing KRA suspects to wear masks in court

Chief Justice David Maraga has warned judges and magistrates against allowing suspects to hide their faces while appearing for criminal cases in courts.

Maraga responded after the outcry that followed after suspects in the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax evasion case emerged in court clad in grey hoodies and sunglasses.

The CJ said that while suspects have the right to privacy, such extreme coverage that makes a suspect unidentifiable was against the administration of justice.

"I has come to my attention that of late, suspects taken to court to face various criminal charges have taken to hiding their identity by wearing dark glasses or covering their faces with hoodies".

"While the right to privacy must be respected at all times, the due process of the administration of justice may well be hampered if suspects in criminal matters are not easily identifiable and connected physically to the charges they are facing, especially when taking plea," Maraga said in a memo to judges and magistrates.

He directed judicial officers to ensure the courts are not used not encourage impunity - saying such incidents would damage the Judiciary's reputation.

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