Home NEWS County News Kilifi: Ksh 32M fraud case against two Italians to begin May 22nd

Kilifi: Ksh 32M fraud case against two Italians to begin May 22nd

The trial against Two Italian Nationals charged with Obtaining over Ksh 32 million by false pretence from two fellow Italians in the tourist resort town of Watamu in Kilifi County is set to begin on May 22 this year.

The prosecution said they have lined up four witnesses including the two Italian complainants, the investigating officer and the complainants’ lawyer Ndegwa Njiru.

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Daniele Lo Coco and Massimo Nativi had on April 29 appeared before Kilifi Chief Magistrate Julius Mukut Nangea and denied the charges levelled against them.

However today they appeared before Kilifi Principal Magistrate Ivy Wasike for pretrial after the former CM got a promotion to serve the Judiciary as a judge.

Both parties agreed the matter to proceed before the Principal Magistrate who set the trial of the case to begin on May 22.

There was however drama after the two Italian suspects and their lawyer Ole Kina were taken by the DCI officers from Nairobi headquarters once outside the court premises and taken to the County Criminal Investigation officer’s offices for questioning.

The three drove themselves together with the DCI officers to record statements regarding another complaint of fraud by another Italian National.

They were interrogated and their statements recorded after which they were allowed to go as the detectives continue with the investigations.

Kilifi County Criminal Investigation officer David Siele confirmed that the Italians recorded statements but were released later after the interrogation.

He said there was a third Italian complainant who had taken the matter to the DCI headquarters which was being handled by his seniors.

Earlier during the Court proceedings Rita Napo one of the complainants filed an application through his lawyer Njiru seeking the defence lawyer to recuse himself from the case as he was listed as a prosecution witness in the chargesheet having attested to the lease agreement dated August 7.

“The respondent herein is a shareholder of Rafiki Company Limited holding one ordinary share while the accused persons are directors of the same company, the said company was the lessor of the demised property from which the charges before this honourable court accrues from,” said the application.

Njiru said the respondent acted for and on behalf of the first and second accused person in the lease agreement and which forms the subject matter of the current case adding that by the dint of the respondent testifying and appearing against the accused persons from the basis of the conflicts of interest and breaches the Advocates -client privilege the detriment of the applicant /lesse.

“It is not permissible for the respondent to appear in this matter both as a witness and a defence advocate as the same will amount to a miscarriage of justice and violates article 50 of the constitution, the applicant will provide evidence that’s prejudicial to the applicant herein and as such comprise justice as ought to be delivered to the application herein,” he said.

On the other hand, the two Italian accused persons also filed an application seeking the court to review their bail/bond terms made by the court and also release their passports to enable them to travel outside the country so as not to prejudice their business which is the source of livelihood.

“The Applicants are not a flight risk since they are residents of Kenya and own businesses which have about 200 employees working for them directly and indirectly,” he said.

Ole Kina said the applicants being business persons have to fly in and out of the country frequently and asked the court to feel free to return the passports to enable them to carry on their business activities and earn a livelihood.

He said the applicants also have properties in the jurisdiction worth Ksh 143,414,000 hence it’s almost impossible for the applicants to abscond court when required to present themselves in court.

“The Applicants had earlier been charged in Criminal case number E506 of 2023 at Kilifi law courts. Their charges were withdrawn after they appeared in court though they were out of the country and they returned to Kenya with the knowledge that warrants for their arrest had been obtained in their absence. The applicants came to face the law, they had an option not to return to Kenya but they returned because they believe in the rule of law,” said the application in part.

“This Honourable court be pleased to issue any further and /or directions as may meet the ends of justice herein,” said the Coco and native through their lawyer Ole Kina.

The Magistrate certified the applications as urgent directed the parties to file responses within three days and set the case to be heard on May 22.

The accused were charged that on various dates between August 30 2018 and August 1, 2019, at the Watamu area of Malindi Sub County within Kilifi County with intent to defraud they jointly obtained Ksh 17 million from Rita Nappo by pretending that they were in a position to sublease her Villa no 5A.

The court heard that the Villa was on a Plot of Land number Kilifi Jimba 1544 measuring approximately 0.327 hectares a fact they knew to be false.

In the second count, the two Italians were also charged that on various dates between March 21 2020 and February 24 2021 at the Watamu area of Malindi sub-county within Kilifi County with intent to defraud they obtained Ksh 15 million from Girola Fiorenzo by pretending that they were in a position to sublease her Villa number 4 B.

The Villa is reportedly located on plot number Kilifi Jimba 1544 measuring approximately 0.327 hectares a fact they knew to be false.

Dickson Wekesa
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