Court suspends graft trial of former CS Rotich

Written By: Ben Chumba
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Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich (R) and PS Kamau Thugge in court (File)

The high court has temporarily suspended the trial of former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich alongside 28 suspects in the multibillion-shilling Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

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The case was adjourned for 30 days pending the hearing and termination of a case by one of the suspects accusing the police of violating his rights during the arrest.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said the order by the high court affects all accused persons since they are jointly charged.

In his application before the high court, one of the suspects Richard Malebe challenged the manner in which his arrest was done accusing the police of violating his rights prompting the high court to suspend the criminal proceedings against him.

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Last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji ordered the prosecution of the 28 individuals over corruption-related charges among them officials from the National Treasury, Ministry of East Africa Community, National Environment Management Authority, Kerio Valley Development Authority and Inspectorate of State Corporations.

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Meanwhile, nominated Nairobi county deputy governor Ann Kananu Mwenda now wants the court to revisit the orders stopping the  County Assembly from vetting her.

Appearing before Justice Mumbi Ngugi the nominated deputy governor through her lawyers argued that in accordance with the constitutional timeline her nomination expires on 5th March 2020 whereas the court ordered that the matter be mentioned on 10th March.

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Kananu wants the court to set aside the orders in order for the county assembly to exercise its legislative function to vet her for the position of Nairobi deputy governor.

Also in the corridors of justice, drama ensued at the high court after one of the suspects in the NYS season 2 scandal cried accusing the prosecution of subjecting her and her family to untold suffering.

Phyllis Njeri Ngirita claimed that the prosecution and Assets Recovery Agency have frustrated her efforts to access to her bank account at KCB to pay school fees for her child.

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According to her lawyer, Njeri had applied to be allowed to withdraw Ksh800,000 to be used in paying her son’s school fees at Pembroke House School in Gilgil adding that she had unpaid fees arrears of Ksh3.4 million.

Njeri claims that the money which has been frozen has no bearing with the NYS case and was genuinely borrowed from a loaning entity.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi later directed that the case be heard on February 10, 2020, but the Assets recovery sought leave to file fresh affidavits.

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