Chief Justice Martha Koome has directed newly appointed Court of Appeal Judge Jessi Lesit to hear the murder case of Lawyer Willie Kimani and two others to completion.
This is after Justice Lessit was promoted to a Court of Appeal judge and was to report to her new post at Mombasa on July 1.
CJ Koome made the decision on Thursday, July 1 after the family of the Human Rights lawyer expressed fears that the case would not proceed to completion following Lessit's promotion.
"I would really request that Justice Jessi Lessit hears the case till the end," Hannah Wanjiku, the widow to the murdered lawyer told a local TV station during an interview.
"I believe CJ Koome is a mother, if it was her son or daughter, would they ensure that she get's justice?" Wanjiku added.
CJ Koome instructed Justice Lessit to complete pending matters as she goes about her Court of Appeal duties.
Lessit has since cleared her calendar and dedicated next week’s Thursday 8 and Friday 9 for the hearing of the case.
"I can say without hesitation that we should have completed with this case latest in 2018 but no, we are now seated here in a cold tent with Covid-19 hovering around us," Justice Lessit said in October 2020.
Justice Lessit had accused the defense of delaying the matter four times adding that the case was to be completed by 2017.
"While we were all walking briskly towards the finish line of this trial in 2017, some of us in 2018 started walking on their heels. How fast can you walk this way?" Justice Lessit said.
However, lawyer Cliff Ombeta who is defending the accused refuted the claims.
"In the last two years, I have adjourned the matter only once. The only time we adjourned the matter was when the prosecution served us with papers when we were not ready," Ombeta said.
According to the family, the defense tried to delay the case following Justice Lessit's nomination to the Court of Appeal in July 2019.