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State wants Kenya weapons case to proceed

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – The State has asked a Nairobi court to dismiss an application by Narok businessman Ismail Munir and four others who want a criminal case against them for allegedly possessing military weapons referred to the High Court.

Senior State Counsel Vincent Wahoro on Thursday urged Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei to disregard Mr Munir\’s application saying it is incompetent.

Mr Wahoro argued that the move by defense lawyers Pravin Bowry, Neville Amollo and Kirathe Wandugi was meant to delay the fair and expeditious trial of the criminal case against the suspects.

“The application is vexatious and only made to delay the fair and expeditious trail of the case against the accused person,\’\’ he said.

He said there was no basis upon which the case should be referred to the High Court for constitutional interpretation.

Mr Munir, his wife Nahid Tabasum, Sergeant Joseph Maritim and two others want the matter addressed by the High Court claiming they were unlawfully held for more than 24 hours before they were arraigned in court.
They have urged the trial magistrate to refer the case to the High Court claiming their fundamental rights have been violated.

They also say they are unlikely to face a fair trial before Mr Mutembei because several judicial and prosecutorial improprieties have been committed against them.

The High Court, they contend, has the jurisdiction to investigate all the allegations.

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Among the issues that Mr Bowry complained of, is the decision by police to conduct searches in Mr Munir’s premises in Embakasi and Narok where the weapons were allegedly recovered without a search warrant, discrimination of bail terms and pre-trial publicity.

Mr Mutembei will determine the matter on April 21.
Meanwhile, the High Court has temporarily stopped the hearing of a case in which five education officials of the School Equipment Production Unit (SEPU) are accused of flouting tendering procedures.

Justice George Dulu has halted the proceedings against the accused pending the hearing of a judicial review application by Suresh Konatra who is challenging the charges against him.

The court granted the orders as the application was not opposed by the Attorney General. The application will be heard on April 28.

Vishal Koch has also made a similar application before the high court.

Mr Konatra, Benson Anyona, Patrick Mwavala, Wilson Shivachi and Bernard Moses have denied failing to comply with procurement laws by awarding a supplies contract for Sh226.7 million to Vulcan Lab Equipment Ltd.

The offense was allegedly committed on July 16 at SEPU offices along Ngong road.

They are out on Sh1 million cash bail.

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