Court declines to suspend Michael Kamau’s graft case
A magistrate has declined to allow further delay in the hearing of a corruption case facing suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.
Lawyers had requested the suspension of the trial to await the outcome of a petition he lodged, alongside his personal assistant, challenging the legality of their prosecution.
The magistrate on Monday instead directed that all parties prepare for the start of the trial in seven days, as “there is no active order as yet stopping the progress of the case.”
Mr Kamau’s lawyer had asked that an adjournment be granted to await the outcome of the petition at the High Court.
In the case, the suspended CS is charged with wilful failure to comply with government financial regulations.
This is in relation to the design of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Sirisia road, which led to a massive embezzlement of funds by a phantom contractor.
Mr Cecil Miller also made a similar request on behalf of Mr Gilbert Arasa, who was Mr Kamau’s personal assistant and is the fifth suspect in the case.
The lawyer wanted the court to reconvene not later than November 12, when an indication on the ruling on the pending petition may be ready at the High Court.
However, other suspects, through their lawyers, said they were ready for proceedings, though the sixth suspect claimed not to have been given copies of the prosecution’s case to “prepare a proper defence”.
It was on this allegation that Monday’s proceedings were called off and the prosecution directed to supply the documents before the hearing begins.
REQUEST FOR DELAY
A prosecutor said two witnesses were ready to proceed and asked the presiding magistrate, Mr Lawrence Mugambi, to reject the request for a delay.
“It is not proper to speculate on the outcome of the petition before the High Court; we had set a hearing date on the basis that in case the appeal is dismissed all parties should be ready to proceed,” Mr Alloys Kemo said.
The magistrate concurred and reaffirmed the urgency with which the Chief Justice ordered all anti-corruption cases to be heard and dispensed with.
He also said that copies of evidence must equally be provided for defence teams to prepare adequately.
Mr Mugambi further directed that the prosecution supply the necessary documents within seven days and set a mention for November 5 for “confirmation of compliance and fixing of a hearing date”.
In the case, the CS and the other eight suspects, all public servants, are accused of disregarding designs prepared by M/S Engiconsult Limited and preparing their own, which led to the embezzlement of Sh33 million by one M/S Kundan Singh Construction Limited.
The multiple offences facing the suspects include the presentation of false documents and were allegedly committed between November 2007 and March 2008.
This article was published by the DAILY NATION on October 26, 2015