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DPP to know if court will allow new evidence in Sh230 million NYS trial

COUNTIES
By Paul Ogemba | November 15th 2018
NYS Director General Richard Ndubai at a Milimani court during the pre-trial conference for NYS suspects. [George Njunge /Standard]

Prosecutors in the Sh230 million National Youth Service scandal will today know if they will be allowed to introduce more evidence against 37 suspects.

Anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said he would deliver his ruling today after two days of tough arguments and hard-line stance taken by State prosecutors and defence lawyers over the application to introduce fresh exhibits.

Whereas the Director of Public Prosecutions wants to introduce payment vouchers and bank statements relating to irregular payments from NYS, defence lawyers opposed the application, stating that it was a "mischievous way to sneak in evidence through the back door".

Principal prosecution counsel Caroline Kimiri argued that the accused had not demonstrated any prejudice they would suffer if the new evidence was introduced.

“The criminal trial is not a one-off event. It is a continuous process, and if the prosecution feels like adding any evidence at any stage, we can do it so long as we inform the accused in advance for them to prepare their defence,” said Kimiri.

The prosecutors also denied claims they were seeking to add the exhibits after realising they had a weak case against the accused. They said additional exhibits were only meant to reinforce what they had adduced in court.

Youth and Gender PS Lillian Mbogo-Omollo, former NYS Director General Richard Ndubai, his former assistant Nicholas Ahere, former director Sammy Mbugua and former Finance Director Wellington Lubira are the accused.

Others are Wambere Wanjiku Ngirita, Gichini Ngirita, Wambui Ngirita, Njeri Ngirita and Lucy Ngirita, who are said to have received Sh231 million from NYS without supplying anything.

Their lawyers said prosecutors only wanted the court to help them after realising they had weak evidence that could not sustain the trial.

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