Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti granted bond and bail terms to suspects alleged to have been involved in a multi-billion shillings Kerio Dams scandal.
Among others, the suspects, including Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich as well as Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, have been granted a bond of Ksh50 million or Ksh15 million cash bail.
The accused have also been told to refrain from appearing at their places of work since according to the court, Treasury still remains a ‘crime scene’.
Accused persons are also not to interact with any of the witnesses in the case, neither are they to destroy any evidence. Proof of them breaching the terms of release will result in them being detained for the remainder of the case.
The Chief Magistrate in delivering his ruling seemed satisfied with the argument from the accused persons that they should be granted bail.
In pleading for their temporary release pending the outcome of the case, lawyer Kioko Kilukumi had argued on behalf of all defence counsel that there should be no reason not to grant the accused persons bail.
“The only primary and important consideration for the court before it admits anyone to bail is whether or not they’ll turn up in court,” Kilukumi said.
The lawyer told the Chief Magistrate that all who had appeared before the court intended to show up for the proceedings. “Your honour, each and every one of the accused persons who’ve taken plea will attend court faithfully when trial commences to the very end.”
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) through Special prosectutor Taib Ali had said that they agreed with the defence’s request as long as the accused persons deposited their passports and travel documents.
“Our case isn’t that the accused are not innocent. Our case is that the accused persons have not been working for the public good,” Ali said.
The suspects had earlier on July 23 been officially charged in court over the scandals involving Kimwarer and Arror dams.
The charges against the Treasury CS and PS mainly fell under anti-corruption and public procurement and public finance laws.
CS Rotich and PS Thugge face counts of abuse of office, failure to comply with public procurement policies and mismanagement of public funds in both the development of Kimwarer and Arror dams.
Together with others accused, they also face conspiracy to defraud the Kenya government, engaging in a project without prior planning as well as financial misconduct.
CS Rotich, PS Thugge and others before the court denied all the charges brought against them before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.
Other charges were not read as the suspects involved did not appear before the court.
DPP proposed that for those who had yet to appear in court be given until the close of business of July 24 to voluntarily surrender to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), failure to which arrest warrants will be issued.
Chief Magistrate Ogoti allowed for those who had yet to appear in court to surrender themselves to the DCI by 2pm on July 26, wherein if they qualify for bond and bail terms then they could be released.
On July 23, CS Rotich had surrendered himself to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters moments after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had ordered his arrest over his alleged role in the loss of Ksh17 billion public funds in the highly politicised Ksh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.
[See Also: Full details of the case against CS Rotich over Kimwarer, Arror dams scandal]