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AG to appeal against Kotut ruling

NAIROBI, November 27 – The Attorney General has indicated that he would appeal against a High Court ruling which cleared former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor, Eric Kotut in the Goldenberg scam.

Special prosecutor Lucas Kang’ata told Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei on Thursday that he had already received instructions from Amos Wako to appeal against the decision made last Friday.

“I have consulted with the Attorney General and he has instructed me to lodge a notice of appeal against the High Court decision,” Mr Kang’ata said.

Mr Kang’ata said the case, which had been suspended pending the decision of the High Court, had come up for mention so that he could issue a brief to the trial court on the outcome.

He said Mr Wako was expected to give directions in the case on January 23, next year.

Mr Kotut, who was implicated in the theft of Sh5.8 billion worth of public funds had objected to his prosecution terming it illegal and wanted the court to bar the AG from prosecuting him.

On Friday last week, High Court judges Joseph Nyamu, Roselyne Wendoh and George Dulu cleared Mr Kotut by deleting all paragraphs in the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry report that implicated him.

The ex- governor had been sued alongside his former deputy Eliphaz Riungu and businessman Kamlesh Pattni among others.

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The three High Court judges ruled that the report was flawed and chances of Mr Kotut having fair hearing were minimal.

“The applicant has reasonable apprehension of being accorded a fair trial because the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry were much publicised and extensively reported in the media,” the Judges ruled.

“His defence has practically been impaired by the flawed report,” the bench added.

The judges ruled that the Commission of Inquiry that was led by Appellate Judge Samuel Bosire failed to consider relevant materials during the inquiry and therefore was biased.

“It would be a miscarriage of justice should we uphold the report because the inquiry has upset the applicant’s (Kotut) arm of balance, “they ruled.

One-time Vice President Professor George Saitoti was also cleared by the courts of any role in the scandal.

In March this year, the State withdrew charges against former Intelligence Chief, James Kanyotu following his death.

The late Kanyotu had been charged alongside Mr Kotut, businessman Kamlesh Pattni, and former Finance Secretary Wilfred Koinange in the controversial Goldenberg scam, in which billions of shillings were paid for non-existent exports of gold and diamonds, through an export compensation scheme.

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