Keroche CEO has no case to answer in copyright suit

Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja (PHOTO: Standardmedia)
A court has expunged Keroche Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja's name from a list of defendants in a copyright case.

Nanyuki Principal Magistrate Njeri Thuku ruled that Ms Karanja has no case to answer in the case in which a rival company has accused Keroche breweries of copying its beer packaging designs. Karanja had been sued alongside Grace Wanjiru, who is Keroche's distributor in Nanyuki town

The magistrate granted the special prosecutor’s application to amend the charge sheet and remove Ms Karanja’s name as the second accused saying that another official represented the company.

“Having considered the application by the prosecution, I hereby grant the request to strike out accused two in this matter and charge accused one and three afresh,” the magistrate said.

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Ms Karanja had been charged alongside her company and a Nanyuki based beer distributor Grace Wanjiru.

It is alleged that they were found with Viena Ice pre-packed beer in sealed bottles of 500 millilitres on September 30, 2015, in Nanyuki town, having East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) embossed on the bottles that were likely to mislead customers to believe EABL is the manufacturer of the beer.

In his last week’s application, John Maina who is prosecuting on behalf of the Weights and Measures department told the court that the case has progressed for the last three years and is about to be concluded without the CEO taking plea since the matter started in 2015.

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The prosecutor told the court that Ms Karanja was unavailable and that there was another representative of the company.

They also faced a second charge of being found in possession of Summit larger beer pre-packed in bottles containing EABL markings embossed on it on the same day.

SEE ALSO :Reprieve for EABL in dispute over use of its beer bottles

The prosecution consequently substituted the old charge sheet.

Keroche Breweries's lawyer Ibrahim Sanko told the magistrate that he did not object to the amending of the charge sheet to strike out the name of Ms Karanja adding that it would have been in bad taste to charge her as a company CEO and charge the company at the same.

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KerocheTabitha Karanja