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Rotich, Thugge graft case adjourned to Sep 18 as prosecution ordered to supply evidence

Trial Magistrate Douglas Ogoti (pictured) on Thursday deferred the matter to September 18 when he will convene to confirm compliance/FILE – SAM WANJOHI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – A Magistrate Court in Nairobi has ordered Special Prosecutor Taib Ali Taib to hold a conference with his legal team on August 26 to address concerns raised by defense lawyers in a graft case facing former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and 26 others.

Trial Magistrate Douglas Ogoti on Thursday deferred the matter to September 18 when he will convene to confirm compliance.

The prosecution counsel in the Sh63 billion graft case against former Rotich, his PS Thugge and 26 others on Thursday told the court all required documents in respect to the case had been supplied to the defense lawyers.

Ogoti was told the prosecution had supplied five bundles containing 500,000 pages.

The defense team told the court it could not ascertain the statements made in respect to each of their clients since they were not properly captioned.

Lawyers Philip Murgor, Kioko Kilukumi, Katwa Kigen, Philip Nyachoti and Andrew Wandabwa, told the court that the prosecution needs to classify the documents and witness statements to enable them to understand the evidence brought against the accused persons.

“It’s the prosecution’s case which they must facilitate the accused persons with all materials and evidence its   it be relying on during the trial,” the lawyers said.

The court concurred with defense on concerns raised with regards to supply of documents specially the ones submitted in soft copies.

Rotich, Thugge and 26 others were charged two weeks ago on graft-related charges with the prosecution saying the National Treasury engaged in the construction of Sh63 billion multipurpose dams in Arror and Kimwarer in Elgeyo Marakwet without prior planning.

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They had spent a night at Muithaga Police Station before being arraigned in court, the suspects appeared before anti-corruption court in June 23

Rotich, Thugge, Chief Economist Kennedy Nyakundi and former Principal Secretary Ministry of East Africa Community Susan Koech and Managing Director Kerio Valley Development Authority David Kimosop were charged with offence of conspiracy to defraud and willful failure to comply with procurement procedures.

A Magistrate Court in Nairobi has ordered Special Prosecutor Taib Ali Taib (pictured)to hold a conference with his legal team on August 26 to address concerns raised by defense lawyers in a graft case facing former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and 26 others/FILE – SAM WANJOHI

The prosecution told the court that, between September 2014 and September 2018 the accused jointly conspired with others by engaging in a scheme to defraud the  government of  $ 244, 422, 163 in of development of Kimwarer multi-purpose Dam.

The accused entered into commercial loan facility agreement disguising it as government to government loan guaranteed by the Italian government, while being aware that the tender documents contained in the request for the development of the dam projects was a concessional agreement, the court was told.

The  court heard that the accused being government officers in-charge public funds willfully failed to  comply with applicable law relating  to procurement, by directly procuring the loan facilities from financiers namely BNP Paribas, Fortis, SA/NY, Intersa, Sanpaolo S.P Unied, S.P.A and  Unicredit Bank for the development of Kimwarer dam.

The prosecution said that the accused engaged in development projects without prior planning, in that on December 19 2014 and November 23 2108, knowing their sole mandate was to properly manage public revenue engaged in projects without taking into consideration the benefits citizens will get.

Rotich in a separate charge was accused abuse of office that on April 18 2017 being Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Planning used his office to improperly confer a benefit to C.M.C. di Ravenna – ITINERA joint venture by unlawfully executing facility agreement for the development of Kimwarer Dam.

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