NYS suspects fail to appear before court for third time

Lawyers claimed their clients had not been "properly served with the court summons.”

Friday March 18 2016

Some of the suspects charged over the NYS scandal at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi during the hearing of their case on February 16, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some of the suspects charged over the NYS scandal at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi during the hearing of their case on February 16, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ByVINCENT AGOYA
More by this Author

Businessman Ben Gethi, his co-accused Josephine Kabura and eight others failed to appear in a criminal court on Friday.

They are wanted in court to plead to 15 counts of money laundering in relation to the Sh791 million lost from the National Youth Service.

The suspects were first expected in court on March 8, but did not turn up, claiming one of them had obtained orders halting their trial.

A judge has since clarified that the interim order applied only to lawyer Patrick Ogolla, who has since lodged a petition challenging his prosecution.

FRESH SUMMONSES

Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gadana on Friday issued fresh summonses against the suspects and ordered that they present themselves in court on April 14.

A team of lawyers representing the suspects in the pending case had protested that their clients had not been "properly served with the court summons”.

In her ruling. Ms Gandani said the suspects should be served afresh personally or through the media.

"I am not satisfied with the manner in which the suspects were served, and I hereby direct that the prosecution serves them afresh," she said.

The magistrate directed that if the suspects "cannot be served individually, the Director of Public Prosecutions should publish the summons in two local dailies with a national reach".

Two lawyers were served in court after they told the court that they would be representing two of the suspects.

Mr Ham Kiplagat, who represents Mr Antony Gethi, informed the court that his client was in hospital and could not make it to court. Mr Paul Amuga, for Mr Samuel Mudanyi, was also given the summons in court.

Other lawyers asked that the suspects be served "personally."

Prosecutor Eddy Kadebe told the court that the investigating officer was having trouble reaching the suspects to serve them with the summonses.

PROCEEDS OF CRIME

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 motor vehicle, registration number KCB 750Z, Range Rover, 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 that on December 1 they bought a Jeep Cherokee, with registration number KCD 241Q, at a cost of Sh6.3 million from the NYS rip-off.

Mr Samuel Mudanyi Wachenje, alias Sam Mwadime, allegedly bought a Toyota Prado at a cost of Sh5.2 million, the prosecution says.

(READ: Court summons Kabura, 10 others over NYS scam)

The fourth charge states that Mr Kago, Mr Antony Kihara Gethi and Mr 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, Ms 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, with proceeds of the scam.

advertisement