Former Juja MP’s wife Judy Thuo’s appeal against criminal prosecution directed back to the High Court

Judy Thuo
file photo: Judy Thuo before Milimani Anti-corruption Court

The court of appeal has allowed an appeal against the prosecution of the wife of former Juja MP George Thuo and former Kenya Pipeline Director Charles Tanui to be returned to the high court for fresh decree.

The appeal against Judy Thuo, Tanui and others failed to kick off after parties claimed that they had not been served with a notice for the hearing.

The parties also alleged that other suspects had not shed light whether they want to be enjoined in the proceedings

Petition against prosecution

Tanui filed a petition against his prosecution on grounds that the court that ordered he stands trial did not give him a hearing at all.

Thuo’s wife had been charged alongside her son Ian Gichuhi who was later cleared of the charges and released.

They had been accused of receiving indefinite payment of Ksh28.5 million from Kenya Pipeline (KPC).

Judy Thuo is charged together with the former KPC MD, her company Redline ltd and four officials over a fraudulent payment of Sh28 million in a phantom tender at the Kenya Pipeline Company for the installation of transformers.

DPP grounds of objection

Through lawyer Joseph Riungu, the director of public prosecution opposed the appeal on grounds that the trial court is the best forum to hear and evaluate the evidence tendered and the merit of any defence placed.

“The trial court is best equipped to deal with the quality and sufficiency of the evidence gathered to support the charge sheet,” Riungu submitted.

The prosecutor further told the three-judge bench that the prayers sought by the applicant be dismissed.

He added that the learned judge exercised her powers to make the high court decision on the revision dated November 15 2016 and the appellant has not demonstrated how the learned judge erred in arriving at the said decision.

Prayers sought in the appeal

The accused are seeking an order that the high court decision that denied them a reprieve be set aside and declaration that the appellant is entitled to disclosure of a report and recommendation of EACC for their case prepared under Section 35 of anti-corruption and Economic crimes act and submitted to the DPP.

Charges and particulars of the offense

The accused face six counts of abuse of office and failing to comply with procurement rules in awarding the contract, false documentations and irregular payments contravening procurement laws.

Chief Engineer Josphat Kipkoech Sirma and Chief Technical Manager Elias Karumi are accused of making an irregular payment to Redline Limited for the installation, testing and commissioning of auto-transformers on the basis of falsified documents.

Judy is separately charged with acquiring public funds illegally.

They all denied the charges and were released on a cash bail of Sh 350,000 each.

Court of appeal judges, Philip Waki, Roslyn Nambuye and Kathurima M’inoti directed the case to be heard within 45 days .