CJ Maraga Lashes Out at Judge who Allowed KRA Suspects to Wear Hoodies and Shades in Court

    Chief Justice David Maraga has read a riots act to judges for allowing suspects to wear hoodies and sunglasses in court to cover their faces.

    In a strong-worded memo on Friday to all judges, magistrates and Kadhis, CJ Maraga noted that suspects have recently made it a trend to make themselves unidentifiable in court.

    “While exercising you individual and independent control of your courts, you must ensure that you are not seen to perpetuating impunity by allowing egregious behavior by the suspects, particularly when such behavior can bring disrepute to the court,” he said.

    This come a day after Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo both lawyers by profession, questioned why suspects in the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) tax evasion case appeared in court wearing hoodies and sunglasses.

    “How can a court allow this? When their names were called out, how did the magistrate confirm it was the accused?” the Senator posed on Twitter.

    In the Friday memo, CJ Maraga noted that right to privacy of suspects is respected but hiding one’s face in court hampers the due process of administration of justice.

    According to him, a suspect who wears hoodies and sunglasses is not easily identifiable in court and cannot be physically connected to the charge especially when taking plea.

    38 KRA officers were on Monday arraigned in court after they were arrested on allegations of abetting tax evasion and bribery.

    They went through the court proceedings with their faces hidden behind sunglasses and under hoodies.

    Their case will be mentioned on May 27, 2019 to confirm progress of the investigations.

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