• Magistrate Felix Kombowas forced to adjourn the matter but said absence of the lead counsel will not warrant an adjournment next time.
• The case was to proceed for hearing this week with the prosecution having availed the remaining witnesses in court.
An anti-corruption magistrate yesterday told counsels in the Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi forgery case to expedite the trial as he is receiving pressure to conclude old suits.
Magistrate Felix Kombo made the remarks after learning the lead counsel in the matter identified as Thomas Ruto is on sick leave.
The case has been in court since 2016 and six witnesses are remaining to testify against Sudi. Eight have already given their evidence.
Kombo was forced to adjourn the matter but said the absence of the lead counsel will not warrant an adjournment next time.
The case was to proceed for hearing this week with the prosecution having availed the remaining witnesses in court.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Riungu Gitonga told the court that some of the witnesses had come from as far as Meru.
But the magistrate, after listening to both sides, observed that Ruto has been consistent in his court appearance. He, however, asked the counsels to take note of the pre-trial directions, which give guidelines on what to do in the absence of any counsel.
“I have considered this unforeseen situation. It doesn't forewarn anybody. It would be unfair if I insisted this matter proceeds in absence of lead counsel. I have seen the sick sheet. According to it, he has three days of bed rest. Today I will reluctantly allow adjournment,” said Kombo.
“But we have to conclude this matter. I’m under a lot of pressure to get such cases done. We will take six days and see whether they will cover all remaining witnesses,” he added.
The matter was adjourned to 26, 27 and 28 October and November 16 and 17.
In the case, Sudi has been charged with forging a diploma certificate in Business Management purporting it to be a genuine document issued by the Kenya Institute of Management.
He is also accused of forging his KCSE certificate purporting it to be a genuine document issued by the Kenya National Examination Council.