SENTENCE REVIEWS

Mombasa court clears 23 cases on Skype

Judge says it was cheaper than ferrying prisoners to court

In Summary

• Judge delivered judgments at his chamber while the accused persons were at Shimo la Tewa prison. 

• He says they plan to deliver judgments every Monday until normal operations resume. 

Witnesses testify from Italy while the accused Fredric Chero and Kelvin Opiyo follow the proceedings before Malindi chief magistrate Julie Oseko in 2015.
TELECONFERENCING: Witnesses testify from Italy while the accused Fredric Chero and Kelvin Opiyo follow the proceedings before Malindi chief magistrate Julie Oseko in 2015.
Image: MALEMBA MKONGO

When the government announced the first case of Covid-19 in Kenya, most government agencies suspended their operations.

However, the Judiciary decided to conduct its cases through teleconferencing using Skype. 

On Monday, the Mombasa High Court cleared 23 criminals cases.

 
 

Judge Ogola delivered judgments while at his chamber while the accused persons were at Shimo la Tewa prison.

Most of the cases were for sentence reviews with the majority handed a life sentence. 

The suspects took turns in appearing on the video camera and keenly listened to the verdicts. 

Ogola said they plan to deliver judgments every Monday until normal operations resume.

The judge further said they are also gearing up to conduct hearings on Skype which will reduce the number of pending cases.

The courts are also in negotiation with advocates of civil cases to come up with guidelines on how they will conduct their cases similarly. 

“Civil judgments are ready and we will only need to agree with the lawyers to decide when and how to deliver them,” he said. 

 
 
 

The system seems to be cheaper than having to ferry prisoners and the remandees to the court.

Judge Ogola said it only cost Sh2,000. “Our courts are connected to the internet, therefore, it did not cost us anything. The money was used in purchasing a modem and bundles for Shimo la Tewa prison." 

On Friday, Court of Appeal Judge Hannah Okwengu will deliver over 20 judgments and rulings of appeals and applications heard in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret through video link and transmit others by email.

Edited by R.Wamochie