, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Kethi Kilonzo has denied charges of stealing a voter registration slip, handling stolen property and knowingly presenting a forged document to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The advocate was forced to take plea after Acting Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo threw out arguments that the charge was illegal.
“There exists no reason to warrant the deferral of the plea and direct that the accused persons do submit to the process and take plea,” Mulekyo ordered.
The magistrate set November 18 to November 22 as the dates for Kethi’s trial on the three counts.
Kethi was freed on a bail of Sh100,000 since the prosecution did not object to her application.
“The accused have all along had the opportunity to flee since this matter began playing itself out in the media. They have not done so and I release each of them on their own recognisance,” Mulekyo ruled.
She also ordered the prosecution to make available the names and statements of the witnesses it intends to call in order to enable Kethi mount her defence.
The prosecution through Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jacob Ondari said it intends to call 30 witnesses in total.
The witnesses listed on the charge sheet include IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan, the commission’s Director of Voter Registration Immaculate Kassait and Disma Namulungu among others.
The IEBC officer, Godfrey Lempiso, who was tasked with safeguarding the voter registration slip Kethi is said to have stolen was also charged with theft and neglect of official duty to which he plead not guilty on both counts.
“On November 19, 2012 at (the) Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Headquarters (in) Nairobi County within the Republic of Kenya as the Manager Electoral Planning and Logistics in the Public Service neglected to keep in safe custody a voter acknowledgement slip booklet serial numbers 041173 a duty to which he was dutifully bound to perform,” the charge sheet reads.
According to Penal Code 275, should Kethi and her co-accused be found guilty of stealing the voter acknowledgement slip valued at Sh5, they risk spending three years in jail.
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