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Case against Dubai Bank directors delayed due to court recess

By Peace Loise Mbae | December 3rd 2015

Nairobi’s Magistrates’ Court has lifted warrants of arrest for two Dubai Bank directors that were issued over a week ago.

The bank’s CEO, Butaa Binay, and operations manager, Deeraj Baghel, had their warrants lifted after they presented themselves in court yesterday for plea taking.

Warrants for the other co-accused, Abdul Zubeidi, Ali Sheikh and Wilson Nandwa, remain in force.

However, Mr Binay and Mr Baghel failed to take pleas since the magistrate handling their case was away.

Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gandani stopped counsel from proceeding with their applications, saying it was not in her capacity to determine the matter or give any orders.

“This being a Court One matter, we will have to wait till it resumes its sittings and the magistrate in charge is present. The court went on a break for 10 days,” she said.

She halted proceedings after the prosecution and defence gave conflicting information about a petition filed at the High Court challenging the validity of the charges against the lender’s directors.

While the defence sought a deferral of the plea pending the determination of the petition, the prosecution told the court the petition had been dismissed.

Money laundering

State Counsel Duncan Ondimu said the High Court had dismissed the bid to block the prosecution of one of the directors.

However, lawyer Paul Wathuta, who is representing the directors, said the defence was not aware of the dismissal.

“The petition was on for a mention and not a hearing. What the prosecution is claiming is new to us,” he said.

The magistrate asked the two sides to present their application when Court One resumed.

The arrest warrants issued for the five directors of Dubai Bank were for a case in which they are accused of money laundering.

Binay and Baghel are separately being charged with the theft of Sh12 million from their employer between April 28 and September 14 last year.

The case will be mentioned on December 21.

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