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Kenya

DPP not ready to begin Humphrey Kariuki’s tax case, gets more time

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki (right) pictured with  lawyers Cecil Miller (centre) and Kioko Kilukumi (right) when they appeared in Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, September 5/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has until September 26 to supply evidence to lawyers representing tycoon Humphrey Kariuki in a tax fraud case.

Trial Magistrate Martha Mutuku gave the directive on Thursday after prosecutors indicated unreadiness to proceed with the case eight months after the probe begun.

The magistrate maintained the defence ought to have been supplied with the documents immediately Kariuki and his co-accused were charged on August 19.

Similar orders were also issued by Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot who is handling another file in regard to a criminal charge.

Defence lawyers Cecil Miller, Kioko Kilukumi and Edward and Benard Nzakya , argued that it is  upon the prosecution to supply their evidence to enable them prepare for the trial.

They said it will be a miscarriage of justice if the State kept on holding the documents alleged to have been obtained some eights months when the probe commenced.

“The witness statements and other documentary evidence held by the prosecution are very fundamental to the accused and the defence lawyers in prosecution of the case,” they said

Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Vincent Monda undertook to supply documents by September 16.

The court directed that the matter be mentioned on September 26 to confirm compliance on the part of the prosecution.

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Kariuki and his co-directors in Africa Spirits Limited have denied charges of alleged tax evasion amounting Sh41 billion.

He and his co-accused were charged with offence of failing   to pay  tax to the  government  between June 2016 and August 2018.

The businessman presented himself to court following summons issued by Trial Magistrate Francis Andyi   and he was released on cash bail of Sh11 million with an alternative of Sh20 million.

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