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Chris Okemo still fighting extradition orders

COUNTIES
By Everlyne Kwamboka | February 26th 2016

The move to confiscate properties belonging to a company linked to former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru comes a few weeks after the Court of Appeal stopped the extradition of former Cabinet Minister Chris Okemo for trial in the UK.

Okemo and Gichuru are wanted in a trial over money-laundering allegations when they served during the Kanu regime.

However, Mr Gichuru does not enjoy the Appellate Court's shield, a move that is likely to split the two cases since he did not seek similar orders.

Mr Okemo got the temporary reprieve after his lawyer Fred Ngatia told Appellate Court judges Alnasir Visram, Kantai ole Sankale and GBM Kariuki that the lower court might proceed with a summary hearing and have him sent to Jersey before conclusion of the case in the second highest court in the land.

"No hearing of the case before the Magistrates' Court should proceed pending the hearing and determination of this case," the three judges ruled in January.

This now leaves the Chief Magistrates' Court to decide on whether to proceed with the extradition case against only Gichuru or wait for the appeal lodged by Okemo to be determined, when the matter comes up for mention at the trial court.

Thursday, Mr Ngatia told The Standard that the UK matter touching on Windward Trading Limited did not involve his client.

Windward, that pleaded guilty in UK, is a firm registered in the Island of Jersey and according to investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, was established solely as a money-laundering outfit to sanitise the proceeds of corrupt funds accrued from kickbacks received from the award of contracts between Kenya Power and various foreign-based companies.

Gichuru's lawyer, Gerishon Otachi, said he did not have all the facts.

Okemo and Gichuru, who are wanted for allegedly making false declarations, fraud and money laundering, have been contesting the Island of Jersey's extradition orders.

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