, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – A magistrate presiding over the multi-billion shilling Tokyo Embassy case has disqualified herself following “unfortunate remarks” allegedly made by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko.
Doreen Mulekyo bowed out of the matter saying that although the chief prosecutor unreservedly apologised to the court and the defence team “it is my considered view that the matter be put to rest.”
“It would however appear that the comment has since taken a life of its own and it is no longer tenable for me to continue to hear this matter”.
Consequently, the magistrate directed the case file to be placed before Nairobi Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate to allocate the matter to another magistrate.
Senior counsel Paul Muite representing former Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi has said the defence team will move to the High Court to challenge the decision.
“We shall contest the decision before the High Court as this is a serious injustice to our clients,” he said.
Mwangi, former chargé d’affaires at the Japanese embassy Allan Mburu Waweru and former deputy director of administration in the ministry Anthony Muchiri have since denied charges of illegal procurement of the Sh1.1 billion premises.
Mwangi and Waweru have been accused of committing the offense on diverse dates between January and October 2009 in the purchase of the property in Tokyo for the Chancery of the Kenya Embassy and Ambassador’s residence at a price of 1.75 billion Japanese Yen.
It is alleged that the two abused their respective offices by sanctioning the purchase of the property by improperly conferring a benefit of 318,700,000 Japanese Yen to Nobuo Kuriyama.
Mburu faces a separate charge of signing the contract at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo Japan on June 30, 2009 without lawful authority.
The trio jointly face a further charge of flouting procurement regulations by directly purchasing the property without following the laid down procedures.