A courtroom at the Milimani Law courts was treated to a bizarre spectacle on Monday after an eyewitness assaulted a lawyer during cross-examination.
69-year-old John Edward Njeru, a former Director of Operations Kenya Police Service, attacked Alex Kimani, punching him in the stomach.
The witness, who is a complaint in a case where he was allegedly defrauded of land, is said to have been angered by the lawyer who was representing the accused person in the case.
Lawyer Alex Kimani had requested the court to allow him to get closer to the witness who was seated in order to show him some documents.
But when the lawyer went near him the witness landed a heavy blow on his abdomen.
The court slapped the elderly man with a 1-day jail term for the assault.
The lawyer later went to a hospital for a medical check-up.
While holding a brief for him on Tuesday, September 28, lawyer Waweru Benson told Senior Principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi that Kimani could not appear in court since he was still in serious pain.
“After yesterday’s incident, my colleague (Kimani) developed a sharp pain in his abdomen. He visited the hospital was advised by the doctor to undergo a scan this morning to ascertain the cause of the pain,” Waweru said.
Adding: “The accused person has a right of presentation and no one can stop that representation either by word of mouth or assault as it happened yesterday. No one is above the law. I have information that the complainant used abusive language to a prosecutor in a previous court.”
The magistrate condemned the assault and urged lawyer Kimani to file a report with the police.
“Following the unfortunate incident that happened yesterday that a witness physically confronted a lawyer, I ordered the witness to be detained for one day. I take notice that the lawyer is unwell due to the incident and I urge him to report to the nearest police station for officers to carry out investigations and file a report in court.
The action is totally unacceptable in this court and it’s seriously condemned,” the magistrate ruled.