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Swazuri seeks review of Sh12mn cash bail in land case

Swazuri argues the Sh12 million cash bail or alternative surety bond of Sh30 million is unjust, exorbitant and in contravention of the Constitution/CFM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Former National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri has filed an application seeking review of bail terms imposed on him by the Anti-Corruption Court, saying the amount is unreasonably high.

Swazuri argues the Sh12 million cash bail or alternative surety bond of Sh30 million imposed by Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi is unjust, exorbitant and in contravention of Article 49 of the Constitution.

The application was certified urgent by Justice Mumbi Ngugi who directed him to serve the application on the Director of Public Prosecutions and appear before her for hearing on Thursday.

While releasing the accused persons on cash bail, Mugambi said the security to be provided by each of the accused persons should be that which not only guarantees their attendance during trial, but also ensures that it does not erode public confidence in the administration of justice.

He said the charges they are facing are serious economic crimes.

Besides the cash bail, the court also directed the accused persons to deposit their passports in court and not contact any of the witnesses.

Other than Swazuri, former commissioner Emma Njogu, former NLC chief executive officer Tom Aziz Chavangi, Salome Munubi, director valuation and taxation Francis Mugo, the director of finance and administration at NLC and lawyer Catherine Wanjiru Chege were also ordered to deposit cash bails of Sh12 million to secure their release.

Businessman Samuel Rugongo was ordered to deposit Sh6 million or surety bond of Sh15 million to secure his release, while Sostemah Ogero Taracha was ordered to deposit Sh3 million in court.

Lilian Savai Kaverenge, Evahmary Wachera and Michael Oloo were released on cash bail of Sh1.5 million.

The accused persons spent the Easter holiday in custody after denying the charges last Thursday last week.

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They denied more than 20 counts including corruption, abuse of office, financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public funds and money laundering.

The charges against them state that they jointly conspired to commit corruption through fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado Carriers Limited on behalf of the Kenya National Highways Authority.

Other than corruption, Swazuri denied abuse of office charges.

He is alleged to have approved a second valuation yet the compensation for the land for expansion of road near the Port of Mombasa had been set at Sh34.5 million.


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