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Case seeking to block KACC probe dismissed

COUNTIES
By - | October 10th 2012

By Patrick Kibet

The High Court in Nakuru has dismissed a suit challenging the move by the anti-corruption commission to seek assistance from Swiss authorities over Anglo-leasing scandal investigation.

The application to block the now defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) had been made by Apex Finance International Limited and Anglo Leasing International Limited.

Nakuru High Court Judge Anyara Emukule, however, ruled that the two companies were non-existent and were improperly in court.

The applicants had argued that the KACC had no legal authority under its constituting statute to seek mutual legal assistance from the Swiss authorities or any other party.

They KACC or its agents barred from soliciting, inquiring, demanding or seeking information about the applicants from the Federal Office of Justice and Police Section of Mutual Assistance in criminal matters of Switzerland.

They further sought orders quashing five requests for mutual legal assistance issued by the KACC to Swiss authorities on May 6, 2008.

In reply, KACC opposed the application and contended that the applicants were non-existent and ghost companies deficient of any capacity or any legal capacity to enjoy or lay claim on any constitutional rights envisaged in the Constitution.

In his ruling, Justice  Emukule ruled that section 7(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 empowered KACC to investigate any matter that in its opinion raises suspicion of corruption or economic crimes.

He observed that the passage of the Mutual Legal Assistance Act 2011 had put the matter beyond any pale of doubt and granted authority not only to the Government, but also to other competent agencies like KACC to request for assistance it may need.

“Both the Government of Kenya or its national agencies, in addition to individuals and other body corporate, may request the Swiss or other government authorities for mutual assistance,” ruled Emukule. 

Emukule maintained that the court had the jurisdiction to determine the matter and to have granted leave to the two companies to commence judicial review proceedings.

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