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Reactions as 2 High Court judges were searched and arrested

LSK issues statement

Justices Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule

The arrest of High Court judges Juma Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule has stirred up reactions from members of the public and legal practitioners alike.

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The two judges were on Thursday evening arrested and their chambers were searched by law enforcement officers.

Initial reports indicate that the two were arrested in connection to an ongoing investigation into a scandal at the Judiciary.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has also released a statement condemning the arrest and accusing the Executive of intimidation tactics.

"The never ending assault by the Executive aimed at clawing back on gains made on the independence of the Judiciary has manifested itself again in an ugly way, today. It has been confirmed by the LSK that a raid by officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) was conducted at the Chambers of the two judges. They were accosted and seized.

"The Judges' Chambers and their persons were searched. The search was claimed to bee in pursuit of a bribe in respect to a matter handled by one of the Judges. No evidence of the claimed bribe was found," the LSK statement read in part.

The statement from LSK went on to outline that the two judges were questioned and released without being charged.

Justice Muchelule is one of the judges who were left out by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he appointed 34 new judges to the Court of Appeal, High Court and other lower courts.

"LSK deprecates the conduct of the DCI. The resolve by the Executive to undermine the independence of the Judiciary through targeted castigation and vilification of Judges should not be countenanced. It is expected that similar conduct will not be repeated, and that the Executive will give an apology on this unjustified and unwarranted conduct," the LSK statement concluded.

Kenyans React to arrest of 2 High Court judges

The arrest also sparked reactions among prominent lawyers in the country, among them Ahmednasir Abdullahi alias Grand Mullah.

"Two judges were arrested by a police SWAT team... 8 hours later, the CJ @CJMarthaKoome, the DCJ Lady Mwilu, the Judicial Service Commission @jsckenya and the Chief Registrar of the judiciary @Kenyajudiciary are ALL TOO SCARED to even comment!" he remarked.

He added: "On behalf of Senior Council Committee of @lawsocietykenya I condemn in the strongest words possible the reckless/baseless arrest of Justices Muchelule and Chitembwe by the police. This frightening hounding of judges by my BELOVED JUBILEE is a cowardly attack on judicial independence."

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkoomen, making light of the moment, insinuated that the police had been sent to plant evidence on the judges.

"The level of corruption in the security sector is so high that the officer who was given the Money to go and plant in the Judge’s office stole them Now he will say the arresting officers delayed," the Senator opined.

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