Top Kenyan judge probed over ‘$2m bribe’

Phillip TunoiImage copyright
Judicial Service Commission

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Judge Philip Tunoi says the allegations are a smear campaign

Kenya has begun a judicial inquiry into allegations that a Supreme Court judge accepted a $2m (£1.4m) bribe.

Phillip Tunoi denies taking money to rule in favour of Evans Kidero, whose election as Nairobi governor was challenged in 2014.

Mr Kidero, who became governor in March 2013, has also denied that he paid a bribe to influence the ruling.

Both men deny meeting the person who alleges that he was their intermediary and facilitated the bribe.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said he had ordered the inquiry into Geoffrey Kiplagat’s allegations because of their “gravity” and “the public interest this matter has generated”.

“We are committed to running a clean judiciary and any matter that is brought before us is investigated and acted on fairly without prejudice to individual rights or public interest.”

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Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (C) said his colleagues had seven days to investigate

After chairing a special session of the Judicial Service Commission on Wednesday, Mr Mutunga said a six-member committee had been formed to investigate the allegations within seven days.

Judge Tunoi says the allegations are a smear campaign ahead of a decision over who should succeed the chief justice, who plans to retire.

“I would not hesitate to leave the judiciary immediately if my accuser can prove an iota of my wrongdoing,” he told Kenya’s NTV station.

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