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Joseph Muli & Another V Republic [2015] eKLR

Case Number: Criminal Appeal 163 of 2013 Date Delivered: 02 Jul 2015

Judge: George Matatia Abaleka Dulu

Court: High Court at Garissa

Parties: Joseph Muli & Walii Wambua v Republic

Citation: Joseph Muli & Another V Republic [2015] eKLR

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Case Number: Criminal Appeal 121 of 2013 Date Delivered: 02 Jul 2015

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Citation: Pascal Oyoo Ogutu V Republic [2015] eKLR

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Abdinasir Ahmed Mohamed V Republic [2015] eKLR

Case Number: Miscellaneous Criminal Application 181 of 2015 Date Delivered: 02 Jul 2015

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Court: High Court at Nairobi (Milimani Law Courts)

Parties: Abdinasir Ahmed Mohamed v Republic

Citation: Abdinasir Ahmed Mohamed V Republic [2015] eKLR

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Republic V Ronoh Khalif Ahmed [2015] eKLR

Case Number: Criminal Case 11 of 2012 Date Delivered: 02 Jul 2015

Judge: George Matatia Abaleka Dulu

Court: High Court at Garissa

Parties: Republic v Ronoh Khalif Ahmed

Citation: Republic V Ronoh Khalif Ahmed [2015] eKLR

Documents under section 77 of the Evidence Act (cap 80) may be produced by a person other than the maker

Republic v Ronoh Khalif Ahmed [2015] eKLR

Criminal Case 11 Of 2012

In The High Court of Kenya at Garissa

G. Dulu J

July 2, 2015

Reported by Andrew Halonyere & John Ribia Wainaina

Brief facts:

While tendering medical evidence, the prosecution called upon the custodian of Wajir District Hospital to present a post mortem. The Custodian was a trained Doctor; however he was not the one that made the post mortem. The maker of the postmortem was not available to present the document in Court.

The defence objected to the custodian presenting the postmortem on grounds that he was not the maker and that the custodian was not qualified to present the post mortem forms. The defence also objected because the prosecution had not tendered evidence to show that the custodian was familiar with the maker’s signature and hand writing.

Issues:

  1. Whether a documents under section 77 of the Evidence Act (cap 80) may be produced by a person other than the maker.
  2. Whether section 72 of the Evidence Act limited the court to the qualifications of the persons who may produce evidence where no attesting witness was found

Evidence Law – documents- documentary evidences in criminal cases-admissibility of documentary evidence- qualification of persons to produce documentary evidence- Whether section 72 of the Evidence Act limited the court to the qualifications of the persons who may produce evidence where no attesting witness was found- Whether a documents under section 77 of the Evidence Act may be produced by a person other than the make– Evidence Act, (cap 80), sections 72 & 77

 

Evidence Act, Chapter 80 Laws of Kenya, Section 72

Where evidence is required of a document which is required by law to be attested, and none of the attesting witnesses can be found, or where such witness is in capable of giving evidence or cannot be called as a witness without an amount of delay or expense which the court regards as un reasonable, it must be proved that the attestation of one attesting witness at least is in handwriting and that the signature of the person executing the document is in the handwriting of that person.

 

Evidence Act, Chapter 80 Laws of Kenya, Section 77

  1. In criminal proceedings any document purporting to be a report under the handwriting of a Government Analyst, Medical Practitioner or of any Ballistics expert, Document Examiner or Geologist upon any person, matter or thing submitted to him for examination or analysis may be used in evidence.
  2. The court may presume the signature of any such document is genuine and that the person signing it or the office and qualifications which he processed to hold at the time when he signed it.
  3. When any report is so used the court may, if it thinks fit, summon the analyst, Ballistics expert, Document Examiner, Medical Practitioner, or Geologist, as the case maybe, and examine him as to the subject matter there of”.

Held:

  1. The Court was allowed by Section 77 of the Evidence Act to presume the genuineness of the documents. The said section did not deal with the issue as to who could produce documents in Court. The court could or could not require the maker of the document to come to court. Documents under the said section should not be produced by the maker. Section 77 only stated that the maker of the document could be called to be examined; documents are admissible whether or not the maker comes to court.
  2. The maker of a document who produced the document in court would be cross examined and as such the evidential value of documents produced by the maker in court is much higher than documents not produced by the maker.
  3. The Court was not limited by Section 72 of the Evidence Act as to which documents were admissible and which documents were not admissible, neither was it restricted to certain qualifications of persons producing a document. Section 72 only stated the need for proof of at least one attesting witness for documents which by law required attestation. Such proof was a matter of evidence and would be tested in cross examination.
  4. The court was to decide on the evidential value of the postmortem by looking at the totality of the evidence. The postmortem form was an official document and could be produced by the custodian. It was not the position of the law that the document was not admissible merely because the maker was not available; or because proof beyond reasonable doubt was not made at the preliminary stage to prove that the document was actually prepared by the said maker of the document.
  5. The Custodian was to produce the post mortem forms because they were official documents from Wajir District Hospital where he was the Medical Superintendent. He could be cross examined and challenged on how he knew that those entries were made by the maker of the postmortem.  He could also be challenged on how those documents were stored or handled or any other relevant issue. This was the purpose of section 70 of the Evidence Act which required the proof of such handwriting or signature on a document.

Defence objection disallowed.

Cases

East Africa

Non Referred to

Statutes

East Africa

1. Evidence Act (cap 80) sections 70, 72, 77 - (Interpreted)

Advocates

1. Mr Onono for the Applicant

 

 

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