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David Mwiraria fails to take plea on Anglo Leasing graft again

COUNTIES
By Fred Makana | March 19th 2015

NAIROBI: Former Finance Minister David Mwiraria has for a second time failed to plead to corruption charges due to his poor health.

Mr Mwiraria's lawyer Kioko Kilukumi Wednesday told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo of the anti-corruption court that his client is still hospitalised at Karen Hospital and requested that he be given more time before he takes plea.

Mr Kilukumi applied to have his client take plea after 90 days; the amount of time he said Mwiraria's doctor needed to determine when he will be physically able to appear before the anti-corruption court.

"My client is willing to plead to the charges leveled against him but he is bed-ridden at the moment and he cannot manage to appear before court. The doctor says he needs to follow up on this patient so my client cannot just come to court," Kilukumi said.

Mulekyo granted the application after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko described the 90-day reprieve sought as, "reasonable". The matter will be mentioned on June 26.

On March 4 when the rest of the suspects were charged, Kilukumi had again told Chief Magistrate Hannah Ndung'u that his client could not plead to the graft charges alongside his finance predecessor Chris Obure, and six others who included three former permanent secretaries, as he had been admitted to Karen Hospital.

Despite the delay in having Mwiraria plead to charges, Mulekyo went ahead to set trial dates. She directed the case against Kisii Senator Chris Obure, former PS Sammy Kyungu,  former Postmaster General Francis Chahonyo  and former Treasury official Samuel Bundotich be heard between October 5 and 16.

The case against Mwiraria and former permanent secretaries Dave Mwangi (Provincial Administration) and Joseph Magari (Finance) where they are facing charges of engaging in the Sh3.9 billion modernisation of police equipment project without proper planning, will be heard between July 20 and 31.

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