A Busia-based magistrate has recused herself from a defilement case involving Bunyala West Member of County Assembly Carlbenz Okonya over claims of security threats.
The Port Victoria Law Courts magistrate who initially was handling the case is said to have transferred it to Busia Principal Magistrate Edna Nyaloti saying ‘she did not feel comfortable’ and was fearing for her life.
Magistrate Nyaloti who also expressed her fears while presiding over the case, said that in a situation where her safety is threatened, she will be forced to ask Chief Justice Martha Koome for directions.
“This case is being heard in Busia because the Port Victoria magistrate expressed concerns about her safety. She did not feel comfortable hearing the case. In case the ground is not good for me to handle it, I will also ask the Chief Justice to advise us on how to proceed,” Nyaloti said as quoted by the Nation.
The MCA was arraigned and charged on Tuesday on allegations of defiling a 14-year-old girl in Busia town on August 27.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Okonya pleaded not guilty to two counts of defiling the schoolgirl and carnal knowledge of a minor but was detained for two days following an application by the prosecution.
The prosecution led by Faith Kaberia and Abraham Mumo had sought orders to detain the suspect for 14 days and opposed bail and bond requests saying the politician might interfere with witnesses.
The magistrate allowed police to detain Okonya for nine days.