alexa Court issues arrest warrants against two NYS scam suspects - Daily Nation

Court issues arrest warrants against two NYS scam suspects

Friday June 10 2016

National Youth Service graft suspects appear before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Youth Service graft suspects appear before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo for a past hearing. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VINCENT AGOYA
By VINCENT AGOYA
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A court has issued arrest warrants against two suspects in the Sh791 million National Youth Service (NYS) money laundering case.

The warrants were issued after they failed to honour a court date, as the case failed to kick off for the sixth time on Friday.

Patrick Ogolla and Jedida Wangari were absent for unknown reasons, prompting a magistrate to issue the warrants.

The two have been charged alongside businesswoman Josephine Kabura and businessman Ben Gethi, whose companies are believed to be have benefited from the scam.

However, Mr Ogolla has obtained a stay order barring his prosecution. The petition for his hearing is set for end of July.

The suspects are wanted in court over a case of money laundering that was registered in February but has never taken off at the chief magistrate's court due to a series of applications seeking to quash it.

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Ms Kabura, Mr Gethi and their suspected accomplices are accused of using the Sh791 million stolen from the NYS to buy property "while knowing that the said money was the proceeds of crime."

FRESH OBJECTION

They had initially challenged their prosecution and lost a bid to stop the case at the High Court, but they launched a fresh objection at the lower court that is yet to be heard and determined.

"The matter has been delayed since February after the case was registered and a preliminary objection raised," prosecutor Gitonga Muranga said.

In their objection, the suspects are challenging the trial court's jurisdiction in handling the case.

Mr Muranga said the hearing of the preliminary objection needs to be fast-tracked so that the case may proceed.

The court withdrew a warrant of arrest issued against Charity Wangui, Mr Gethi's mother and another suspect in the case, after her lawyer presented documents indicating that she was unwell.

Magistrate Martha Mutuku has directed the parties in the case to appear in court on Monday for "further directions."