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Britain willing to help Kenya try graft cases

Sunday December 13 2009

In 2006, former Ethics PS, John Githongo named top politicians as being involved in the Anglo Leasing scandal. Photo/FILE

In 2006, former Ethics PS, John Githongo named top politicians as being involved in the Anglo Leasing scandal. Photo/FILE 

By NATION Correspondent in LONDON

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has evidence that would help Kenya prosecute key corruption cases.

The revelation in a new document released by UK’s Department for International Development and the Foreign Office last week also shows that London’s efforts to assist with the prosecution of the Anglo Leasing scandal have been ongoing.

The report revealed that the SFO “has made extensive investigations across a number of countries and has evidence that could help Kenya progress a number of cases and deter future corruption.”

The document goes on to reveal that this information will be made available to Nairobi but only if the Kenyan government “is able to cooperate” with meaningful efforts to prosecute those responsible.

London’s view at present is that the Kenyan government is not putting into action its pledge to stamp out corruption.

Freeze assets

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A Foreign Office statement noted that “few senior figures have been prosecuted or lost their jobs,” and that “billions of shillings stolen from taxpayers are yet to be returned.”

London says it will also act to help the Kenyan government “freeze and return any corruptly obtained assets which might be held in the UK.”

Until action is taken, the UK has warned Kenya that the current list of 20 senior civil servants, politicians and businessmen who are banned from visiting Britain is likely to be extended.

London says the ban is “a last resort,” and is a direct consequence of the fact that no senior official has ever been convicted of corruption by a Kenyan court.

Last week, British ambassador Rob Macaire, blamed the government for failing to provide crucial information requested by SFO to nail culprits involved in the scandal.