Suspects in Sh2.3billion land fraud seeks to block fresh prosecution

Part of Miwani Sugar factory in a picture taken on October 30,2019
The Court of Appeal has suspended any court proceedings against five suspects implicated in an illegal transfer of a Sh2.3 billion land belonging to Miwani Sugar Company until February next year.

The accused had challenged a High Court ruling that they be put on their defence over the alleged illegal transfer.

The ruling by Justice Mumbi Ngugi had overturned a decision by a Kisumu magistrate’s court, following a successful application by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji.

The five suspects include Kibos Sugar Factory chairman Sukhwinder Chatte, Ian Maina, Philip Odongo, Epanaito Okoyo and Crossley Holdings Limited.

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On Friday, Court of Appeal judges Philip Kiage, Otieno Odek and Asike Makkhandia ruled that no case should proceed against the suspects until the court delivers its judgement on February 20, 2020.

Lawyers representing the five, led by Richard Onsongo, told the bench that the High Court decision did not take into consideration the records at the lower courts.

In the protracted legal battle, only former magistrate Abdulkadir Elkindy and Moses Osewe, a former revenue officer in the defunct Nyando County Council, had been placed on their defense by Chief Magistrate Julius Ngar.

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Miwani SugarNoodin Haji