Former Kemri boss to repay Sh18.5m - Daily Nation

Former Kemri boss to repay Sh18.5m

Wednesday April 13 2011

By NATION Reporter

Former Kenya Medical Research Institute director Davy Koech has been ordered to repay Sh18.5 million by a court.

He was accused of illegally obtaining the money from Kemri's account.

High Court judge Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal directed Dr Koech to refund the money with interest to the government after finding that he did not give any bona fide defence against the accusations of illegal transfer.

Justice Rawal’s ruling arose out of an application filed by Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission seeking recovery of the money on grounds that Dr Koech transferred it to an account belonging to a private company in which he is a trustee.

But in a rejoinder, Dr Koech said he will contest the ruling.

"I shall appeal against the ruling by Hon Justice Rawal on grounds the said sum purportedly transferred by myself to another account is a misrepresentation of the facts," he said.

Dr Koech who is also facing a criminal case over same is said to have transferred the money to Africa Medical Services Trust (AMSET).

In the criminal case, Dr Koech is accused of acquiring Sh19.3 million fraudulently from the government.

And in the civil case Kacc says Dr Koech allegedly transferred the money in question without reference to other signatories.

According to the Commission, the transfer was not only done without reference to signatories but also without the knowledge and consent of board of Kemri.

Kacc had said after investigations it found out that the money was not due to the private entity into whose account the funds were transferred raising questions.

It accused Dr Koech of giving false information to his superiors at the Health Ministry that the transfer in question was done in error and that the debits would be reversed.

It had said the former director ought to have known that there was no official relationship between Kemri and the company into whose accounts the money was paid.

Kacc believes Dr Koech unjustly enriched himself by wrongfully retaining the Sh18.5 million at the expense of Kemri.

On his part, Dr Koech denies that he ever gave any undertakings to pay back the money in question to Kemri or even the government.

He had said he is innocent and maintains that the transfers made from Kemri's account were regular and properly authorised as per the account’s operating instructions.

Justice Rawal said: “The defendant (Dr Koech) has not tried to explain the withdrawal of the money from the account. It is thus not in doubt that the money in question was transferred by Dr Koech in an account which is under his control and the money was withdrawn which under the circumstance could be taken as misappropriation by Dr Koech.”

The judge noted that Dr Koech was instrumental in the transactions which was done without following proper procedure and as a result he is liable to refund it.