Verdict in Kimunya land case due in March

December 9, 2014 12:47 pm
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The Attorney General  though State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta opposed the application by Kimunya for wrongly enjoining him in the proceedings since his office has no role in criminal cases/FILE
The Attorney General though State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta opposed the application by Kimunya for wrongly enjoining him in the proceedings since his office has no role in criminal cases/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – Former Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya will know next year in March whether fraud charges he is facing over illegal transfer of a 25-acre government land in Nyandarua will be terminated.

Judge Weldon Korir said on Tuesday that he will deliver his verdict on March 4 after he concluded hearing submissions in a judicial review case by Kimunya contesting criminal charges levelled against him early this year.

The Attorney General though State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta opposed the application by Kimunya for wrongly enjoining him in the proceedings since his office has no role in criminal cases.

It was his argument that the former Kipipiri legislator should seek to prove his case before the Magistrates’ Court because orders he is seeking are coercive in nature.

“The applicant has not demonstrated incapacity or unfairness on the part of the chief magistrate’s court to deal with the matter fairly,’’ he argued.

The State Counsel went on say that Kimunya is raising a defense to the charges before the prosecution makes its case.

“It is in public interest that the criminal proceedings be sustained and I urge the court to find the application premature and speculative,’’ he said.

However, Kimunya’s lawyer claimed that the criminal charges framed against his client have ulterior motives.

He questioned why it has taken Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) 11 years to bring Kimunya to court.

Justice Korir heard the argument that his prosecution was delayed because he occupied a Cabinet position post does not hold any water.

The advocate claimed that Kimunya has been isolated by the EACC and DPP and urged the court to find that the Magistrate’s Court has nothing to do with the land in question.

Kimunya is charged alongside the director of Land Adjudication and Settlement Lillian Njenga, Midlands Ltd and its chairman Junghae Wainaina.

They are facing charges of transferring a 25-acre government land in Nyandarua County nine years ago.

Midlands and Wainaina are also separately seeking to quash their prosecution on grounds that the charges are malicious and meant to deny them the right to acquire property.

The Nyandarua-based food agro processing firm says it was a legitimate beneficiary of the land, previously owned by the Settlement Fund Trustees.

The firm processes and packages potatoes and is also owned 16 per cent by private equity firm Pearl Capital Partners.

Kimunya was arrested in March this year and charged with having influenced the allocation of 25 acres in Nyandarua to the firm while serving as Lands minister.

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