A judge has extended to March 18 summonses that required suspects linked to the Sh791 million National Youth Service (NYS) to appear in court on Tuesday.
A trial court was on Tuesday told that one of the suspects, Mr Patrick Ogolla, “approached the High Court and successfully obtained an order" suspending his prosecution for money laundering.
Mr Ogolla is charged alongside Mr Martin Gachara Wanjohi and Ms Charity Wangui Gethi with jointly transferring Sh77.6 million to an account at Faulu Kenya.
The suspects, including Ms Josephine Kabura — who recently filed a damning affidavit implicating former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru — had been summoned to appear in court to answer to charges of money laundering, but none of them turned up.
Prosecutor Eddy Kadebe, however, said that the stay order was only for Mr Ogolla and thus the other 10 suspects in the fresh case of money laundering should appear in court and plead to the charges.
A fresh controversy also emerged over the interpretation of the High Court order, which has been referred back to a judge to clarify whether it was a blanket order covering all the 11 suspects in the case.
"No one has taken plea, we still have suspects and not accused persons therefore there are no proceedings to be stayed," prosecutor Kadebe said.
APPEAR IN COURT
He added that the suspects should appear in court and plead to the charges.
Mr Kedebe further said the High Court order applied only to Mr Ogolla and did not affect other parties in the case.
"While the application is not within the jurisdiction of this court, I urge the parties to approach the High Court once more for interpretation of the same orders," he said.
The 11 suspects are required before the Chief Magistrate's Court at Milimani to answer to 15 counts of money laundering arising from investigations into the theft at the NYS headquarters.
Among the suspects are billionaire businessman Ben Gethi and lawyers who reportedly acted on their behalf.
The charges facing Ms Kabura, Mr John Kago Ndungu, Mr Patrick Ogolla Onyango and Mr Ben Gethi read that between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 in Nairobi, they jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of a Range Rover motor vehicle, registration number KCB 750Z, at a cost of Sh23 million while knowing that the money was the proceeds of crime, namely the sum of Sh791,385,000 stolen from the NYS.
Ms Kabura, Mr Kago and MS Charity Wangui Gethi are further charged with buying a Jeep Cherokee at a cost of Sh6.3 million from the NYS rip-off.
The charge states that on December 1, they bought the vehicle, registration number KCD 241Q.
Mr Samuel Mudanyi Wachenje, alias Sam Mwadime, allegedly bought a Toyota Prado at a cost of Sh5.2 million, the prosecution says.
The fourth charge states that Mr Kago, Antony Kihara Geth and John Hope Van Damme jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of a Sh5.07 million Land Cruiser, an offence the prosecution says was committed between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 in Nairobi.
Ms Kabura, Mr Kago, Charity Wangui Gethi and Mr Patrick Ogolla are also charged with buying a parcel of land, LR Number 21/1/97, worth Sh63 million in Roselyn Estate, Nairobi, from the proceeds of the scam.