alexa Swazuri to wait 7 days for ruling on Sh12m cash bail review - Daily Nation

Swazuri to wait 7 days for ruling on Sh12m cash bail review

Thursday April 25 2019

Muhammad Swazuri 

Former NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri at the Milimani Law Courts with his co-accused on April 23, 2019, when they were granted release in the Sh109 million graft case. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Former National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri will remain in police custody until next Thursday when a ruling will be made on whether his Sh12 million cash bail should be reviewed.

Mr Swazuri and several others are charged with conspiring to commit corruption through fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for the alleged compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado Carriers on behalf of Kenya National Highways Authority.

The accused were granted release by a magistrate's court on Tuesday but none of them had met the terms by Thursday morning.

Mr Swazuri's terms were Sh12 million cash bail or Sh30 million bond, but he applied for a review on Wednesday saying they were unjust, unreasonably high and in contravention of Article 49 of the Constitution.

DPP'S POSITION

Justice Ngugi noted on Wednesday that the charges against all the accused concerned serious economic crimes.

In court on Thursday, the Director of Public Prosecution opposed the review, saying the terms were appropriate as the offences were serious.

“This honourable court should review the bond terms of the applicant and exercise discretion by enhancing bond. If not, it should deny the accused bail or bond," said state counsel Vincent Monda.

The prosecution further said the former NLC boss had not discharged his burden to required standards in demonstrating that the terms were unreasonable and exorbitant.

“He has not demonstrated or placed any material documenting an impropriety, illegality or irrationally by the trial court to warrant this court's intervention," Mr Monda said.

OTHERS ACCUSED

Others given the Sh12 million cash bail are former commissioner Emma Njogu, former NLC chief executive Tom Aziz Chavangi, Valuation and Taxation Director Salome Munubi, Finance and Administration Director Francis Mugo and lawyer Catherine Wanjiru Chege.

Businessman Samuel Rugongo was granted freedom on Sh6 million cash bail or Sh15 million bond while Sostemah Ogero Taracha was ordered to deposit a cash bail of Sh3 million.

Ms Lilian Savai Kaverenge, Ms Evahmary Wachera and Michael Oloo were released on cash bails of Sh1.5 million each.

They denied more than 20 counts including corruption, abuse of office, financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public funds and money laundering.