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Okemo, Gichuru now surrender passports in court over extradition

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Updated Tuesday, July 12th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Evelyn Kwamboka

Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company boss Samuel Gichuru have forestalled the prosecution’s move to have them arrested.

The two who are wanted in Jersey Island, UK, to answer money laundering and corruption charges, appeared in court Monday with their advocates, moments before the application on warrants of arrest was made.

They are accused of a Sh900 million fraud and receiving bribes from international companies between 1999 and 2002.

Nambale MP Chris Okemo (left) and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company boss Samuel Gichuru at a Milimani Law Court, Nairobi where they voluntarily presented themselves after the Director of Public Prosecutions issued warrants for their arrest. [PHOTO: EVANS HABIL/STANDARD]

Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Macharia released the accused on Sh1 million cash bail each and ordered them to deposit their passports in court before Tuesday evening.

"The prosecution and defence have agreed by consent to forego the merits on the application for warrants of arrest. Each accused person is released on Sh1 million cash bail," she ruled.

They are expected in court on August 4, to argue their application opposing extradition.

Mr Okemo and Mr Gichuru were escorted to the court’s basement cells as their relatives and advocates organised to pay the bail before 5pm. Suspects unable to raise bail are normally taken to Industrial Area Remand Prison. Mr Ngatia said he wrote to Attorney General Amos Wako on July 7, to have his clients released on personal bond.

"Ever since this matter started, the two have been here. They were at the High Court recently and have been faithful in attending court at all times," he said.

Documents

He complained that the court authorities in Jersey Island released documents touching on the 13 bundles to the media, yet his clients have not received any.

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