, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has urged the High Court “to exercise extreme caution” following urgent applications lodged by key NYS suspects seeking to stop their prosecution over money laundering.
The chief prosecutor is asking the court not to interfere with his powers to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against Ben Gethi and his mother Charity Wangui over money laundering charges.
Tobiko, through State Counsel Victor Mule, insists that issues raised by the two can be determined by the trial court.
The two under a certificate of urgency claim that the DPP has preferred the charge of money laundering without first establishing whether the Sh791 million was fraudulently acquired within the meaning of Section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-money Laundering Act.
“Unless and until there is determination that the said monies were in fact stolen and were therefore proceeds of crime, the respondent’s decision to prefer charges against them is in the circumstances irrational, unreasonable and an abuse of prosecutorial discretion and the court process,” they contend in their court papers.
They have also argued that their prosecution in two criminal cases related to the same suspected theft amounts to double jeopardy and is therefore unconstitutional.
Gethi and his mother therefore argue that their prosecution will cause immense and irreparable damage should they be compelled to plead to the charges.
Together with nine others, they are accused of money laundering contrary to Section 3 and 4 of the Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering Act.
On his part, the DPP contends that offences of money laundering are distinct from those of conspiring to steal.
“There is no legal requirement for the prosecution to prove conviction for a predicate offence before preferring charges of money laundering,” he stated.
The applications will be argued on April 20 before Judge Joseph Onguto.