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Defendants quarantined in prison slows justice system

Westgate prison (FIle photograph)

Information on Covid-19 cases behind bars will not be released after several Westgate inmates missed court appearances because they were in quarantine, the Government said yesterday.

The news came after the Supreme Court heard on Tuesday that two defendants could not appear in person or remotely because of quarantine rules.

The same problem affected another defendant on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the national security ministry said: “As is a standard practice, the Department of Corrections does not publicly discuss the private health matters of staff or inmates.

“The department does note that it continues to work with the Department of Health and other medical and health professionals to ensure that any coronavirus cases are mitigated in the safest possible way.”

She added: “That said, the country is currently dealing with the spread of the dangerous Delta variant.

“This is affecting both the public and private sectors including the Department of Corrections.

“Furthermore, it should be noted that throughout the pandemic remote sessions have taken place at the courts and, when necessary, will continue to be utilised in the interest of safety.”

The spokeswoman said the prison service was “committed to the safety of officers, staff and inmates” and thanked staff for their work under tough conditions.

The three Supreme Court cases were adjourned until next month, when it is hoped the defendants would have got the all-clear and be able to appear.

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Published September 18, 2021 at 7:52 am (Updated September 18, 2021 at 7:52 am)

Defendants quarantined in prison slows justice system

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