, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – The High Court has suspended an order requiring over 80 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff to report daily to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over an ongoing investigation into tax evasion and money laundering.
Justice Grace Macharia made the order after she was informed by defense lawyers that the office of the DCI has not made any progress in the investigation with regards to which the criminal directorate had sought for 21 days which the court was told had run out.
Lead counsel Philip Nyachoti, told the court on Monday the suspects have been adhering to the guidelines set out by the court but detectives were yet to prefer charges against them.
“These are people who have families and school going children whom they need to attend,” he argued.
The lawyer submitted that besides reporting to the DCI suspects have also complied with a requirement to appear in court for the mention of their respective cases.
Nyachoti, said the office of DCI ought to have gathered enough evidence before arresting the suspects.
“The prosecution should only have brought criminal charges against the suspects instead of holding them and asking for evidence,” the lawyer submitted.
He said detectives should follow the due process of the law, faulting an argument presented by a State prosecutor that investigations are complex and require more time.
The defense lawyer argued that the police are still holding the suspects’ mobiles phones, computers and other gadgets from which they can obtain evidence.
The judge directed that the matter be mentioned on June 18 before Justice Luka Kimalu for further directions.
The suspects had been freed on bond on condition that they avoid entering KRA offices after they assured the court that they had known residences and they were not a flight risk.