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KRA workers want corruption case dropped, bail refunded

By Nancy Gitonga
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
Senior counsel Tom Ojienda.
In summary

More than 75 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff facing tax evasion and bribery claims want the High Court to bar the state from further harassing and prosecuting them.

The move comes after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti failed to charge or disclose the offences that the officials intend to face 14 months later following their arrest in May last year.

In their application before Justice Luka Kimaru, the suspects’ defence lawyers led by senior counsel Tom Ojienda and Mr George Kethi also want the court to declare the ongoing investigations being conducted by Kinoti since May 2019 as illegality since he has no mandate to investigate tax and corruption allegations.

Further Ojienda submitted that the time the investigations have taken has prejudiced the officers’ fundamental rights.

He added that the suspects have since been reporting to the DCI headquarters twice a week and nothing much has been happening regarding the investigations as directed by the court on May 13, last year. 

“The state adjournment has been over seven months and the DPP having not been ready to charge the suspects to date we seek to have the charges terminated,” said Prof Ojienda.

Prof Ojienda further wants the court to find that the arrest of the officials and their presentation in court in May 2019 was unlawful. Kethi further on his part submitted that the entire investigation done by DCI is bad in law and should crumble adding that the case by DCI against the officers must be terminated because they were investigated by a body not authorised in law.  

On bribery allegations for issuance of tax compliance certificate Kethi said corruption matters are investigated by the EACC and that the DCI does not have powers to investigate corruption matters.

Ojienda also wants the court to direct the Sh200,000 cash bail granted to each of the suspected pending probes be refunded and their mobile phones, laptops, other electronic gadgets returned. Hearing continues on August 5

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