Panic struck Mombasa Law Courts on Thursday, August 13 after three Chinese nationals presented themselves fully dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The magistrate was forced to postpone the hearing after she mistook the suspects for Ministry of Health officials who had come to collect a Covid-19 patient.
A source who was at the court during the encounter revealed that the three Chinese nationals were facing bribery charges.
“They were facing bribery charges according to the court documents, the three had tried to bribe some detectives here in the country who were investigating a case against them.
“The magistrate pushed the hearing to a later date because some of the court officials thought those were health workers coming to collect a Covid-19 patient,” noted the source.
The defence team, however, protested the postponement of the case as they wanted the hearing to proceed as scheduled.
The incident sparked an online debate with a number of people asking Chief Justice David Maraga to act as they claimed it portrayed a wrong image of the court.
The panic in the courtroom was heightened after 11 staff members of the Judiciary in Mombasa tested positive for Covid-19 back in June.
The incident forced open courts to be suspended for a period of time with Maraga revealing the infected persons included Judicial officers and registry staff.
“Their primary contacts within the courts totalling 118 officers have been identified and must now go into self-quarantine with immediate effect.
“We shall, however, as much as possible, endeavour to offer online and other virtual services to court users,” noted CJ Maraga.