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Ex-embassy attaché refuses to take plea

COUNTIES
By By FRED MAKANA | January 22nd 2014

By FRED MAKANA

A former financial attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Zimbabwe yesterday declined to take a plea over allegations of misappropriation of Sh5 million while on duty.

Margaret Ayumu Katunga, through her lawyer Nzamba Kitonga, told Nairobi Principal Magistrate Peter Ndwiga that the allegations against her can only be handled by a Zimbabwean court.  Ms Katunga is facing ten counts of stealing by a person employed in the public service contrary to section 280 of the penal code.

The lawyer said the Kenyan court did not have the jurisdiction to listen to the matter as the alleged offence was committed in Zimbabwe.

“Before the accused takes her plea it must be noted that this court does not have the jurisdiction to hear this case as it was committed outside Kenya. The offence was committed in Harare it can only be heard in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Kitonga said the matter can only be handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions in Harare. He told the court that any attempt to charge Ms Katunga in Kenya would be an abuse of the court process.

The magistrate directed the case to be mentioned today when he is also expected to rule on whether the accused will take her plea or not.

 He also directed the accused to remain on a police bond of Sh50,000.

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