DPP, EACC head to Jersey Island in quest to extradite Gichuru, Okemo

Former Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power Chief Executive Samuel Gichuru. [File, Standard]

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and anti-graft boss Twalib Mbarak left the country yesterday for Jersey Island to pursue the fraud and money laundering case against former Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power Chief Executive Samuel Gichuru.

The officials are also accompanied by others from Asset Recovery Agency and will meet officials within the criminal justice system in Jersey, where among other things, they will discuss how to jump legal hurdles facing the intended extradition of Okemo and Gichuru to Jersey Island.

Haji said the matter of extradition is still at the Supreme Court.

“We have waited and we are still waiting but we are now in agreement that we cannot wait for the Supreme Court to come and listen to the matter.”

The two are accused of abuse of office; using proxy companies to squander public funds running into hundreds of millions, according to court papers from Jersey Island.

Okemo served as Energy Minister between 1999 and 2001 before he was moved to the Finance docket where he served between 2001 and 2003.

Gichuru served as the managing director of then KPLC between 1983 and 2003.

The Supreme Court is set to hear and determine whether Okemo and Gichuru should be extradited after the Court of Appeal quashed an earlier ruling granting the government permission.

If extradited, they will face fraud and money laundering charges in Jersey, a country that had for long been used as a haven for tax cheats but has since inked an agreement with Kenya to return some Sh380 million in assets.

The assets were recovered by the Royal Court of Jersey after Windward Trading Limited Company which was at the centre of the scandal pleaded guilty to four counts of money laundering.

The DPP will be exploring various avenues to see the quest for justice is not defeated.

The DPP said they may agree to have the Jersey court have its sitting in Kenya meaning the extradition case, attributed to the derailment of the case will be rendered useless.

 “We are thinking of innovative ways to prosecute, maybe here in Kenya. We can allow the Jersey court to come to sit here. It is something we are exploring,” he said.

“We will not be defeated. We shall look for every way, to ensure the matter proceed.”

Two weeks ago, the public prosecutor for England and Wales Max Hill is in Kenya to help Haji in enhancing cooperation and collaboration in investigation and prosecution of corruption and terrorism cases.

Hill and his team have held meetings with Haji and officials from the Criminal Justice System in Kenya where they agreed hold joint initiatives on issues to do with corruption and terrorism.