DPP wants Orengo out of Kidero criminal trial after landmark ruling

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 00:00 | By
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. Photo/PD/File

The Director of Public Prosecutions now wants Senate Minority leader James Orengo to stop representing former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero in a Sh68 million graft trial.

When the case came up for mention virtually before Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti yesterday, the DPP through James Kihara asked the court to bar Siaya senator Orengo from the proceedings following a landmark ruling delivered by Mombasa High Court issued last week.  

“Will be asking James Orengo who is a State officer to be expunged from the court proceedings in light of a High Court order by Justice Erick Ogola that barred state officers from appearing for suspects facing economic crimes,” said Kihara.

Opposed request

But Orengo through lawyer Julie Soweto vehemently opposed the DPP’s request to have him stopped appearing for Kidero in the corruption case saying that they do not agree with Justice Ogola decision.

“The High Court did not bar State officers from appearing for all accused charged with economic crimes.

Without going to the argument, this application by DPP comes as an ambush and the court proceedings have to stop so that we can address the issue fully.

I am objecting to Orengo being removed from appearing for Kidero,” said Soweto.  

The magistrate directed the DPP to serve the all parties in the case and the court with a copy of a ruling issued by the High court. The DPP’s application will be heard on June 3.

Kidero and 14 others were charged with the offence of conspiracy to defraud Nairobi City County and Council Sh68 million.

The prosecution alleged that Kidero conspired with his co-accused to commit an offence of corruption by acquiring millions of shillings as kickbacks from deceased lawyer Steven Kariuki as part of the proceeds of crime.

“On January 8, 2014, you unlawfully acquired Sh14.4 million from Steven Kariuki while knowing it was public property. You also engaged in money laundering by acquiring a Toyota Lexus valued at Sh14 million while knowing the money was part of proceeds of crime,” read the charges.

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