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DPP seeks to drop charges against six in Arror, Kimwarer dams case

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | October 19th 2021

Former Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich at Milimani Courts, in Nairobi. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has applied to drop charges against six more accused persons in the Sh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal.

The DPP, through his assistant Alexander Muteti and special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib, also wants to be allowed to consolidate the two cases against former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich over the dams’ scandal.

Rotich and his co-accused are facing 40 charges in two separate files in which the prosecution claimed that they conspired to defraud the government of more than Sh63 billion in the Arror and Kimwarer dams’ projects.

“The two cases arise from similar facts and circumstances. Since the prosecution will be relying on the same witnesses and exhibits, it is only fair that the two cases be consolidated to save on the court’s time,” said Muteti.

Opposed the application

The assistant DPP argued that consolidating the two files would result in reduction of the number of charges from 40 to 30 and have the 52 witnesses testify once instead of appearing in court twice over the same issues.

But the defence lawyers led by Katwa Kigen opposed the application to consolidate the two files, arguing that it was a deliberate move by the DPP to delay the start of the case. The accused were charged more than two years ago.

Kigen said it is not fair that the prosecution always applies to amend the charge sheet whenever the matter is scheduled for hearing which has made the accused to plead to fresh charges five times.

Lawyer Katwa Kigen. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The prosecution also said they intend to withdraw charges against the six accused and only have nine remaining to undergo trial from the initial list of 25 individuals who were charged in July 2019.

Defraud the government

“We are asking that the persons against whose names do not appear on the consolidated charge sheet be set free and their respective cases be deemed as duly terminated,” said Muteti.

The nine the prosecution wants to prosecute are Rotich, former chief economist Kennedy Nyakundi, former Kerio Valley Development Authority boss David Kimosop and former National Environment Management Authority managing director Geoffrey Wakungu.

Others are Jackson Kinyanjui, William Kipkemboi, Paul Kipkoech, Francis Chepkonga and Titus Muriithi.

The nine were initially charged alongside former Treasury PS Kamau Thugge and East Africa Community PS Susan Jemutai Koech but the DPP terminated the case against them.

In the new charges, Rotich and the eight co-accused are alleged to have conspired to defraud the government of Sh54 billion.

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