Why court freed Ali Punjani’s wife in drug case

Ali Punjani’s wife Karki Sushmita (centre), her nephew, friend and two workers moments after being freed at Shanzu Law Court. [Joackim Bwana, Standard]
A magistrate yesterday ordered the release of Karki Sushmita.

She is the wife of wanted tycoon Ali Badrudin Punjani.

Her nephew, two Kenyan workers at Punjani’s Nyali home and an Indian were also set free.

The judge rejected the State’s request to detain them for seven more days after the 24-hour they were given to press charges were over.

The prosecution told the court it had no evidence by yesterday to charge them.

“It is apparent that the prosecution was not ready to charge the five respondents,” Senior Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo said.

“The respondents can go out and look at the sky because their fundamental rights have been upheld by the court of law,” he ruled.

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“As the prosecution doesn’t wish to proceed with this matter, they (accused) are hereby set free and police should release you.”

Police, however, accused the respondents of giving them false information and obstructing investigations.

The five were arrested on Tuesday evening at Punjani’s house after a 12-hour search of the palatial Nyali home.

File to DPP

Prosecutor Shakwila Ayeka said the department will send the file to the Director of Public Prosecution for further direction.

Ayeka added that they may prefer charges on the five once investigations are concluded.

“The court gave orders that the respondents be charged by 4pm or be released. We have not finished the investigations and it is impossible to charge them… as soon as investigations are complete, they will be charged."

Punjani’s lawyer Jared Magolo accused the police of malice by seeking to charge his clients without evidence.

He said the police need to apologise to the five.

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Karki SushmitaAli PunjaniDrug trafficking