Kenya: Court bars MP’s prosecution

Kenya: Court bars MP’s prosecution

by / 1 Comment / 38 View / 10th June 2010

The High Court in Kenya last weekend extended an order barring the Attorney General (AG) from prosecuting Naivasha MP John Mututho, over a KES40 million, (approximately £340,000) tendering scandal that occurred ten years ago.

Extending the orders, Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche directed the AG to file his reply in three weeks.

Representing the AG, Patrick Kiage told the court that he had not filed the reply by Thursday 3rd June following new rules requiring parties to bind copies and also in certain colours, before they are presented to court.

The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) on its part filed its response narrating how investigations into the multi-million scandal were carried.

In a sworn statement, the anti-graft body through lawyer Ben Murei said the investigation was first carried out by the police. But after its formation, the commission took over the case- which implicates Mututho in fraudulent payment of the amount in question as refund purportedly paid to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for the supply of bedside lockers.

Murei says after completing his investigation, the file was handed over to the AG for prosecution. The lawyer added that they have been investigating the MP over the siphoning of millions of shillings through arbitration that was formed to handle the dispute.

Mututho moved to the High Court and stopped the hearing of the criminal case.

In moving to court, Mututho accused the Kacc of moving from one court to another in a case which he argues cannot stand.

Through Gichuki King’ara, Mututho said the anti-graft agency avoided prosecuting him in anti-corruption court because the case could not stand.

‘This is essentially at worst a civil matter and stands no chance of success in anti-corruption courts,’ he said.

The MP said in his affidavit that he did not participate in either the tendering or importation of the bedside lockers but KNH and M/S Countryside Suppliers Limited – a company allegedly associated with him – carried out this exercise.

He said investigations have not been carried out on the company nor has it been prosecuted yet it is a registered liability company with powers to sue or be sued.

‘Kacc has directed all its malicious venom towards me as an individual and has not investigated or prosecuted M/S Countryside Suppliers or clearing agents as required by the Customs & Management Act 2004,’ he said.

The company is said to have surrendered all its original documents to KNH plus its invoice covering two percent administration costs all amounting to KES41, 371,515 (£340,000).

But in reply Kacc accuses Mututho of colluding with the then directors of KNH to refer the case before arbiters. The case will now be heard on the November 22nd November 2010.