High court stops prosecution of ex LSK chair over Malili Ranch deal


High Court has issued orders stopping the arrest and prosecution of former Law Society of Kenya chairman over Malili Ranch fraudulent transactions.

Justice Weldon Korir barred Director of Criminal Investigations and Director of Public Prosecution from arresting, detaining, charging or prosecuting Eric Mutua and stayed any criminal proceedings against him.

“There be a stay in any criminal proceedings to be instituted against the petitioner in relation to his role in the conveyance involving sale of L.R No. 9918/3 and proceeds of sale thereof, pending hearing of this application inter parties,” ruled Korir.

Under a certificate of urgency, Mutua said that his law firm acted for Malili Ranch limited in the transaction relating to the sale of its land to the government and following to some misguided complaints by some members of the company, investigations were undertaken by the DCI and Ethnics and Anti-Corruption commission (EACC).

According to the lawyer, the DPP appointed senior counsel Paul Muite to evaluate the available evidence and make appropriate finding and recommendations.

He argued that the DPP upheld Muite’s findings to the effect that certain people be charged and Mutua be made a state witness and he did testify as prosecution witness in a criminal case involving the subject matter.

The lawyer cum politician avers that the DPP can not constitutionally resile from the decision it made unless circumstances change and new evidence is available and by purporting to return its own decision, DPP is in gross abuse of legal process and criminal justice system.

“The decision by the DPP has exposed me to double jeopardy and to the danger of self-incrimination thereby violating my right to fair hearing and I can not be both an accused and a witness in the same subject matter,” argued Mutua.

The former Chair said he received instructions on 2nd February 2009 from Malili Ranch limited to act for them following a tender advertised in the newspaper by the ministry of information and communication for purchase of 3000 acres of land and received a duly signed Board of Director resolution on the sale of 5000 acres of land of L.R No. 9918/3 or any other parcel owned by the company.

He added that upon inquiry from the client, it produced copies of shareholders to sell the land, which resolutions were passed in meetings held on 7th May 2005 and 5th January2 009 and pursuant to the said instructions, on 3rd February 2009 he wrote a letter on behalf of his client offering to sell 15,000 acres of land at a sum of Sh 298,000 per acre.

“On 20th February 2009 I received a letter from the Chief Procurement officer in the ministry making a counter offer to buy 5000 acres at Sh 200,000 per acre and was asked to accept the offer within 14days.

Mutua said that he responded 23rd February 2009 accepting the offer making a total of Sh 1 billion.