By Sam Alfan
Kenya’s Deputy Solicitor General will now be sentenced next month after being convicted of contempt of court.
High Court will give the final verdict against Muthoni Kimani for failure to obey an order to pay City lawyer Gitau Mwara Sh 6.5million.
Muthoni told the High Court Monday morning that she had already paid the lawyer Sh6.5 million including the accrued interest.
Defense Lawyer Kioko Kilukumi pleaded with the court to grant Muthoni a suitable fine on the grounds that she had been an advocate of the High Court for 30 years.
“Muthoni was not served with the orders until she was served with court summons requiring her to appear in court in person for the ruling,” said Kilukumi.
Muthoni is accused of disobeying a court order issued on May 3, 2013 but defends herself that it was a failure on the side of the state officials.
The amount was allegedly paid on May 19, 2015. The complainant Lawyer Mwara acknowledged that it was indeed paid through an Attorney General’s office.
Kilukumi said if his client knew of the application, she would have earlier presented the materials to show that payment process had been initiated.
Kilukumi said the power to sentence only lie with the Judge and prayed for a reprimand or a fair sentence.
The defense also pleaded with the court to put the matter to rest claiming that the sentence must fit with the circumstances in which the offense was committed.
The Deputy solicitor’s counsel said there was no intention to withhold the money as she has a mandate of protecting public fund.
The case which is filed at the Nairobi Chief Magistrates accuses the deputy solicitor general of abuse of office and conspiracy to defeat justice.
The lawyer, a former political detainee, also wanted Kimani’s future application for the position of solicitor general rejected by the Public Service Commission.
Mwara was arrested and detained at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison between October 1990 and June 1992 over political activities.
He later sued the State for violation of his rights. In June 2010, the High Court awarded Mwara Sh4, 749,122 as compensation. The case underscores the struggle between former political detainees and the Attorney General over payment of millions of shillings awarded as damages for violation of human rights.
Mwara’s Lawyer argued that there was a representative from the Attorney General’s office once the matter came for mention or hearing and whenever they would fail the court did demonstrate patience.
Justice David Onyancha said he needed time to go through the materials that the defense presented to court. The ruling on the sentencing will be delivered on June 15.