, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 5 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) says any hope of resolving the Anglo Leasing saga has been crushed following a decision by British investigators to drop the case.
LSK Council Member Evans Monari said on Thursday that Kenya in effect cannot conclude investigations into the scam after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) discontinued the case, citing lack of evidence from the Kenyan government.
“It just tells you that Kenya remains a third world country with no recourse to justice. Politically there are conclusions about allegations made by John Githongo, conclusions about why ministers resigned (Kiraitu Murungi and David Mwiraria). Was there evidence at all to implicate these two?” he queried.
Mr Monari further said that the termination of the case paints a bleak picture for fraud investigations in the country.
“It just tells you that there is a serious problem with law enforcement in Kenya. It tells you that there is lack of direction in terms of where the government wants to go with regards to fraud matters,” he explained.
A statement from SFO London released on Thursday reads that Director Richard Alderman has decided to terminate the investigation, as there is currently no reasonable prospect of conviction without evidence from Kenya.
The Anglo Leasing corruption scandal involves a total of 20 shady government contracts with a fictitious company.
“It tells you that there is a problem not only in Kenya, but also in the United Kingdom in terms of what do we do with fraudulent acts,” Mr Alderman illustrated.
The LSK said the decision means Kenya cannot in effect conclude investigations into the major scam.
Unearthed in 2004, the contracts involved dubious, multi-million dollar contracts for supplying Kenya with a system to produce tamper-proof passports, and for building police forensic laboratories among others. The deals involved Anglo Leasing and Finance Ltd, a fictitious company.
The main contention regarding accountability of those involved has been where to place the blame.
The cases already brought in court have involved only the permanent secretaries, but in a recent move the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission has recommended the prosecution of ministers.