, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – The prosecution of businessman Mohan Galot has been terminated by the court on grounds that the criminal charges were malicious.
The outgoing Nairobi Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo that three criminal files brought before court carried no sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution.
The businessman and his wife Santosh were to be prosecuted over alleged forgery and fraud arising from the transfer of a prime property belonging to the Galot family business empire without the consent of co-directors.
The dispute arose between the tycoon against his nephew Pravin Galot
The court dismissed the criminal charges against the couple stating that the companies which were listed as complainants in the cases wished to withdraw the claims.
The magistrate said that there were pending civil cases between the litigants in which it was yet to be determined as to “who between the two are the proper directors of the multi billion shillings worth property at the centre of the fall-out.”
The magistrate said Pravin lodged his bid as a complainant long after the charges had been preferred against the two “but the companies listed in the case never complained against the accused.”
“In view of the submissions filed in court, I am convinced the charges levelled against the accused have no basis and I hereby withdraw the charges and acquit the accused persons under section 204 of the criminal procedure code,” the magistrate ruled.
The section states that once a complainant has no interest in the matter an accused person is automatically acquitted.
The court ruling now sets the stage for the tycoon’s Sh5 billion damages claim against the State over alleged malicious prosecution.
Ogembo said since the companies, which were listed as complainant, did not wish to pursue the case; the court had no option but to withdraw all the criminal charges.
Ogembo said since both the businessman and his nephew have been engaged in a long-drawn legal tussle over the ownership of the property, they should give the High Court time to determine the multiple suits filed by the two.
Galot had objected to his trial saying a gross violation” of his fundamental rights to a fair trial.
The charges were preferred against the couple after their nephews, Pravin Galot and Rajesh Galot, complained they had forged signatures of public officers in the Lands Ministry and Registrar of Companies to transfer three prime properties to MG Park Ltd without the consent of the other directors of Galot Industries, including Pravin and Rajesh.
The charges against them stated that on about July 30, 2007 at Registrar of Companies in Nairobi, jointly with others not before court, the two obtained registration of Galot Industries company directors claiming to have been signed and issued by Registrar of Companies Wilson Gikonyo.