, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Former Finance Minister David Mwiraria failed, for the second time, to plead to Anglo-Leasing charges on Wednesday due to his health status.
His lawyer Kioko Kilukumi told Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo that his client was unable to appear before her as he was bed ridden.
He therefore applied to have the matter of his client taking plea come up after 90 days; the amount of time he said his client’s doctor needed to determine when he will be physically able to appear before the anti-corruption court.
“What the doctor recommends is that he needs to follow up on this patient who is basically bed ridden, on a wheelchair. He cannot just come to court,” he submitted.
And as proof of his assertions, he presented to the court and to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, a medical report put together by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Mulekyo granted the application after Tobiko described the 90 day reprieve sought as, “reasonable,” and set June 26 as the date when the matter will again come up for mention.
On March 4 Kilukumi had again told Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung’u that his client could not plead to the Anglo-Leasing charges alongside his finance predecessor Chris Obure and six others who included three former Permanent Secretaries as he had been admitted to the Karen Hospital at 1am that morning.
He also revealed that the reason he was admitted had to do with a hip he had replaced outside the country a week earlier.
“He returned to the country a week ago and was at Integrity House on Monday to have his fingerprints taken but he could not even exit the vehicle due to his condition,” he told Ndung’u.
Despite the delay in having Mwiraria plead to charges pinned on the 2003/4 Anglo-leasing deals, Mulekyo went ahead to set trial dates.
The first case for which Mwiraria is facing the charges of conspiracy to commit an economic crime and engaging in a project without proper planning has to do with the Sh3.9 billion Modernisation of Police Security Equipment and Accessories Project of 2003/4 and will be heard between July 20 and 31.
The second for which he’s facing the additional charges of disobedience to statutory duty and abuse of office will be heard between September 1 and 11 and has to do with the Sh5.8 billion, “E-Cops,” project meant to computerise security, law and order systems and procedures of the Kenya Police.
He is charged alongside tycoon Deepak Kamani and his brother Rashmi Kamani in both cases.