Magistrate accused of chatting on phone during court session
A Malindi-based magistrate could face disciplinary proceedings at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) after being accused of disrupting court proceedings by surfing the web and chatting on her cell phone.
The petition submitted to the JSC also accuses the magistrate, Dr Julie Oseko, of leaving the courtroom at one point during the proceedings to answer a call.
The magistrate’s accuser, 54-year old Turkish tycoon Elsek Osman, is facing defilement charges involving minors.
In the petition, Mr Osman wants the magistrate to recuse herself from the case, saying her lack of concentration resulted in gaps in the court proceedings and distortion of testimony.
Court documents seen by Nation indicate that as the minors were testifying, the magistrate was allegedly busy on her phone chatting and occasionally leaving the chambers to answer calls while witnesses were still testifying.
According to the application supported by Mr Osman’s advocates Cliff Ombeta and Daniel Wamotsa in a sworn affidavit, the magistrate “was not attentive while presiding over the matter, leading to glaring errors in the proceedings as well as missing evidence in his favour”.
Mr Maurice Mkan, an advocate representing witnesses and their parents and Commission for Human Rights and Justice that carried out parallel investigations into the case, has also sworn an affidavit affirming that the magistrate’s written court records do not reflect a true account of witness testimonies.
“Dr Oseko was texting, making calls and using her phone surfing on the internet on several occasions hence disrupting the court proceedings,” Mr Osman says. who is facing ten counts of child defilement say sin his petition.
The defilement case is scheduled for mention on Monday.