Former Chase Bank chairman Mohammed Zafrulla Khan, Kibwezi West MP Patrick Mweu Musimba and his wife Angela Mwende Musimba have been charged with stealing over Sh1.15 billion from the lender.
The Banking Fraud Investigations Department (BFID), of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), presented the fresh case against Mr Khan and nine others to Nairobi Milimani Resident Magistrate Ms Hellen Onkwani on Thursday.
Only Mr Khan appeared to plead to the charges. The rest will appear on September 17.
Mr Khan is charged alongside Mr Musimba, Ms Musimba, former Chase Bank director and Chief Executive Officer Duncan Kabui, former General Manager of Corporate Credit James Mwaura Mwenja and former General Manager Makarios Omondi Agumbi. The other accused persons are Lucien Sunter Vlasman, Ronald Petrus, Porting Access Limited and Itecs Limited.
Mr Khan, who was presented to the court by lawyer Cecil Miller, denied four counts of conspiracy to defraud, steal and launder money.
Mr Miller applied for his client's release on bond saying he is facing two other similar cases arising from the same transactions.
“I wish to bring to the attention of this court that Mr Khan, the immediate former chairman of Chase Bank, is out on a cash bail of Sh2 million in two other cases arising from the same transactions,” Mr Miller said.
The lawyer told the magistrate that Mr Khan was scheduled to fly to America for a third heart surgery this week but was summoned on September 11 to appear before the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for processing.
“Police signed the charge sheet in a malicious move to bar Mr Khan from travelling to America. He has had two successful heart operations and had been booked for a third one this September,” Mr Miller submitted.
He urged the magistrate to release his client on the strength of the Sh2 million cash bail in the other cases.
“Mr Khan is not a flight risk. He had been allowed to travel to America for a heart surgery twice. He returned his passport to the court as directed,” the lawyer noted.
The accused had been directed to deposit his travel document in court as a condition for securing his freedom in the two other cases.
NEW BAIL TERMS
State prosecutor Mr James Warui Mungai did not oppose the release of Mr Khan on bond but asked Ms Onkwani to impose new bail conditions due to the fresh case.
Ms Onkwani directed that Mr Khan be remanded until Monday when she will rule on his bond application.
Mr Mungai also applied for warrants of arrest to be issued against Mr Musimba, his wife, Vlasman and Petrus.
Mr Miller promised to present Gichu, Mwenja and Agumbe to police for processing and produce them in court on September 17 when the case be mentioned.
Mr Khan and the nine others are charged with stealingSh1,150,125,587.20 from Chase Bank between January 23 2015 and March 2016.
The former chair is separately charged with stealing the money by virtue of his employment.
The 10 are also charged with conspiring to steal the money by disbursing amounts to Porting Acess and Itecs without following the payments process as stipulated in the bank's finance policy.
Khan, Mwenja, Kabui and Agumbi are also facing money laundering charges for allegedly transferring Sh740,442,687 from the collapsed bank to Paramount Universal Bank.
It is also said the five committed this crime by transferring Sh409,682,900 from Chase Bank to Kenya Commercial Bank.
Musimba, his wife, Mwende, Sunter, Vlasman, Petrus and the two companies are also said to have benefited from the said Sh409,682,900 which was moved from Chase Bank to KCB, Kipande House branch.
The seven (Musimba, Mwende, Sunter, Vlasman, Petrus Porting and Itecs) are accused of benefiting from proceeds of crime by transferring the amount from Chase Bank to Paramount.
The case will be mentioned on September 17 for Musimba, Mwende, Sunter, Petrus, Mwenja, Kabui, Agumbi, Porting and Itecs to enter their pleas.