Win for Eldoret transgender woman in identity fight with prosecutor

The accused says she wants to be identified as a woman. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Defence lawyer Colbert Ojiambo told court that his client was being subjected to psychological torture by being referred to as a man. 

An Eldoret court has directed the prosecution to stop referring to a transgender woman by her male name and instead use her preferred feminine identity. 

The court gave the orders during the mention of a case in which Shieys Chepkosgei has been accused of obtaining registration documents under pretences. 

In the charge sheet, the prosecution had referred to the accused as “Shieys Chepkosgei alias Hillary Kiprotich”. The accused, however, wants to be identified as a woman. 

Defence lawyer Colbert Ojiambo told court that his client was being subjected to psychological torture by being referred to as a man. 

Registration documents

“For the interest of prosecuting this case as fast as possible, from now henceforth, she will be referred to as Shieys Chepkosgei and not ‘alias Hillary Kiprotich’,” ordered Eldoret Chief Magistrate Linus Kassan.  

In the case, the prosecution told court that on January 14, 2015 in Eldoret West Sub-county in the office of registrar of persons, the accused fraudulently obtained registration documents and was issued with identification card no 29714978 in the name of Shieys Chepkosgei. 

She denied the charge and was released on Sh40,000 cash bail. The case will be heard on January 12,2021. 

The accused hit the headlines last year when officers in Eldoret West Police Station found out that she possessed male physical features despite claiming to be a woman. 

She later revealed herself to be a transgender woman and demanded to be given special treatment while in custody.