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Narok arms cache case to restart under new magistrate

Monday March 18 2013

A cache of weapons seized from the home of a Narok businessman, Munir Ishmael in December, 2009. The hearing of an arms cache case against Narok businessman Munir Ishmael will start afresh after magistrates handling the case were promoted to high court judges.

A cache of weapons seized from the home of a Narok businessman, Munir Ishmael in December, 2009. The hearing of an arms cache case against Narok businessman Munir Ishmael will start afresh after magistrates handling the case were promoted to high court judges. NATION

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

The hearing of an arms cache case against Narok businessman Munir Ishmael will start afresh before a fourth magistrate, it was ruled on Monday.

Former magistrates Esther Maina and Grace Macharia who previously handled the case are now High Court judges while Mr Gilbert Mutembei, who also handled the case, has since been promoted to High Court registrar.

Parties in the case on Monday agreed that the case should start afresh later in the year.

Nairobi chief magistrate Kiarie Waweru Kiarie set June 4, 6 and 7 as the new dates for the hearing.

Mr Ishmael, his wife Nahid Tabasum and three others including a former AP chief armourer are accused of being in possession of guns and more than 100,000 bullets seized in a godown in Narok town in December 9, 2009.

The arms consignment was said to be the country’s largest in civilian hands to be seized by police.

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Mr Ishmael, who was described by a High Court judge as “the central player in the case,” is out on a Sh1 million cash bail and two sureties of Sh3 million. His wife was granted a cash bail of Sh1 million.

The other accused deposited two sureties of Sh500,000 and Sh200,000.

The accused also face another charge of being in possession of government property after they were allegedly found with 31,211 rounds of ammunition in a garage in the same compound the first cache was found. They have since denied the charges.

The accused unsuccessfully tried to block their prosecution.

The second arms cache was seized on February 1, 2010. Police allegedly found 28,783 bullets of 9mm calibre, 353 of 7.6 mm, 1,552 of .22 mm, 500 of .38mm and 25 of .28mm calibre guns in two containers branded with the logo and colours of a local milk factory.