The Judiciary has defended the Anti-Corruption Court decision to fine a KRA official Ksh 2m saying it was in line with the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
Section 48(1) of the Act which provides that someone convicted of soliciting benefit “shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment to a term not exceeding ten years or both.” This is regardless of the amount of the bribe received or solicited.
According to the Judiciary, the accused received 1100 US dollars which is equivalent to Ksh 110,000 while the rest of the money was fake currency.
“For avoidance of doubt, therefore, the court in fact had before it a case involving receipt of Ksh 110,000 as a bribe and NOT Ksh 15 million.”
The KRA official had solicited for a bribe of Ksh 15 Million but on the day he was to receive the cash, the Anti-Corruption Commission was alerted and he was subsequently arrested.
Reports that he was released on a Ksh 2m fine elicited sharp reactions from members of the public after it emerged that he had solicited for Ksh 15m.
The Judiciary in a statement says, “The Court imposed a fine of Ksh 1 million for each of the two counts thus the total fine of Ksh 2 million. It is hereby noted that offences have prescribed penalties in law which the courts cannot go beyond. In this case, the maximum financial punishment provided in law is Ksh 1 million per count.”
Further the Prosecution confirmed he was a first offender while the accused also indicated that he lost his job in 2014 and is living with significant medical conditions.
The court observed that KRA is still at liberty under section 23(3)b of Tax Procedures Act to pursue the taxpayer and conclude the audit and issue an assessment for recovery of the Tax.