Swazuri and 10 others deny Ksh 109.7m land fraud charge

Former National Land Commission (NLC) chairman Professor Mohammed  Swazuri and ten others have Thursday denied  109.7 million shillings land fraud charges preferred against them.

Prosecution led by SADPP Vincent Monda asked court to deny them bail saying charges were serious and were likely to interfere with witnesses.

The prosecution also said that four accused were under investigation on a matter of similar nature and the offences were a national security threat.

They will spend Easter holidays in police custody pending ruling on the case in which the court will next week Tuesday rule on whether to let them out on bail or continue holding them.

Swazuri is among 24 others charged in court over a 109 million shillings corruption case.

They are accused of among other things, abuse of office, conspiracy to commit economic crimes, unlawful acquisition of public property and money laundering.

The defense team applied for release of the suspects on cash bail, an application that was opposed by the prosecution team.

Swazuri was arrested on Wednesday by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over the irregular payments to private individuals and entities amounting to 109.76 million shillings.

They spent the night in police cells ahead of their arraignment and EACC detectives are hunting more of those still at large to take plea.

Swazuri however denied charges of improperly conferring 75 million shillings to Tornado Carriers Limited by illegally approving a second valuation while an initial award of 34 million had been made for compulsory acquisition of land for Mombasa port area road development.

16 other senior NLC officials and traders also denied charges of being involved in the illegal payment of 109 million shillings to Tornado Carriers Limited for the compulsory acquisition of the same land.

The court ordered warrant of arrest in advance for the 13 others who are yet to appear in court if they don’t appear at EACC offices on Tuesday at 8am.


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