alexa DPP drops charges against importer, 4 people in 'mercury fertiliser' case - Daily Nation

DPP drops charges against importer, 4 people in 'mercury fertiliser' case

Thursday May 9 2019

Erick Chesire Kiptoo, Charles Ongwae

Mr Erick Chesire Kiptoo and then Kebs boss Charles Ongwae at Milimani Law Courts on June 25, 2018. They have been charged with abuse of office, attempted murder and commission of a felony. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Noordin Haji has withdrawn criminal charges against four people and importer linked to the fertiliser alleged to contain mercury.

The DPP has further agreed for the release of the consignment held at a godown in Mombasa on condition that the importer OCP Kenya withdraws an application for the retesting of the commodity.

"It is agreed between the parties and the DPP that the investigating officer shall concurrently release the impounded consignment of fertiliser held at Bollore warehouse in Mombasa to OCP (K)," reads the agreement.

Those whose charges were dropped are Mr Benson Oduor Ngesa, Mr Karim Lofti Senhadji, Mr Malika Kirama, Mr Younese Addou and OCP Kenya Limited.

The order to retest the fertiliser was issued in January 2019 and to date it has not been implemented.

CHARGES

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However, charges against seven other suspects in the case, including former Kenya Bureau of Standards MD Charles Ongwae, will proceed with hearing.

Mr Ongwae, former Kebs director of quality control Mr Erick Kiptoo, the inspection manager at the Kilindini Port Mr Peter Kinyanjui, regional manager of the Coast region Mr Pole Mwangemi, and the Port Health officer at Kilindini Mr Erick Kariuki, have been charged with attempted murder, abuse of office, commission of a felony and breach of trust.

They are accused of unlawfully releasing to OCP (K) Ltd, 5,846,000kg of substandard compound fertiliser, which contained mercury.

In the agreement signed by Senior Counsel Mr Paul Muite for the importer and senior assistant DPP Mr Alexander Muteti and adopted by senior principal magistrate Mr Kennedy Cheruiyot, the parties agreed to drop the charges against the four people and the importer and proceed with hearing against the other accused persons.