High Court has overruled the decision to acquit Parliament staff who had been charged with a Ksh 70 million fraud.
While delivering her ruling, Justice Ngenye Macharia said that the accused persons’ right to fair trial was not violated after the prosecution failed to supply them with some of the documents
Justice Macharia ruled that the magistrate who closed the file had no jurisdiction to do so as the defense only enjoined to furnish the defense with the documents required.
The magistrate had closed the file on grounds that “the accused persons’ right to a fair trial under Article 50 of the Constitution was not guaranteed and had been violated”
The accused had claimed that the prosecution was subjecting them to an unfair trial by not supplying all copies of documents, one of which they said was very essential to their defense in the case, but the later stood ground stating that the controversial document sought was not going to be used in proving its case.
However, the prosecution said the documents the suspects wanted could not be made available because of their nature of confidentiality as they were “classified and contained information that if leaked to the public would expose Parliament… and be a matter of national security.
Prosecutor Daniel Karuri submitted that in closing the file “the complainant was never given an opportunity to be heard.”
The Judge directed the matter to be mentioned on March 9 for directions.
DPP instituted criminal proceedings against the seven accused persons on November10 2015 blaming them for conspiring to commit a felony among others charges where they all pleaded not guilty.
The seven staff faced nine charges of abuse of office, conspiracy to commit a felony and preparing documents without authority.
The accused Samuel Obudo (finance), Mary Gathiga (finance), Keith Musyoka (procurement), David Mulinge (procurement), Alloys Tinega (stores), George Arum (internal audit), and Benjamin Njagi (stores)are alleged to have committed the offences between July 2013 and June 30, 2016.