Kenyan in arms case protests

February 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Defence lawyers representing Narok businessman Munir Ismail have complained of massive security lapses on Monday during an operation in which thousands of live ammunition were recovered at his premises.

Led by lawyer Pravin Bowry, the advocates said despite being assured in court that adequate security would be provided for Mr Ismail “the security of our client and of his lawyers was highly compromised.”

The advocate told Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei:“for us to be teargassed and stones thrown at us was a very unfortunate incident despite being assured of tight security during the exercise."

Mr Bowry was making the submissions during the mention of a case in which the businessman accused of keeping military weapons, was surrendered back to court after he was allowed to accompany police officers as they unearthed yet another arsenal in his garage on Monday.

Even though Mr Ismail has been freed on an enhanced bail of Sh3 million, he has not managed to secure his release.

He added that during the hearing of the case, they would object to the manner in which the matter has been covered by the media. According to the lawyer, the media has compromised his client’s rights by subjecting him to a pre-trial.

State Counsel Vincent Wohoro declined to respond to the claims and said that he will give his views at the appropriate time.

“I reserve my comments and will respond at an appropriate time but I would like to say that the matter is of much public interest and its coverage by the media has not in any way violated his rights," he said.

The State Counsel at the same time indicated that following the new developments, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would make a substantive application next week on Thursday.

However, no fresh charges were preferred against the businessman in connection with the latest discovery.

And in a separate court, Justice Juma Chitembwe, a former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Trustee Racheal Lumbasyo and two lawyers were charged with conspiracy to defraud the workers’ body of Sh1.2 billion in a land deal.They are accused of transferring five prime pieces of land belonging to NSSF to Delta Resources Limited in disregard of a decision by the Fund’s board.

The charge reads that the firm was contracted by NSSF in the sale of five plots adjacent to Laico Regency hotel in July 2008, but the services offered were not adequate.

Justice Chitembwe and Ms Lumbasyo faced another charge of fraud for allegedly paying the said firm yet the services were not adequately rendered. The two have also been accused of abuse of office for illegally paying the Ministry of Lands Sh112 million from NSSF claiming to be land rent.

The case is due in court on February 10.


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