At the same time, former chase Bank Chair Zafrulla Khan released on bail in the matter after spending three nights in custody.
Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba, his wife Angela Mwende Musimba and three former collapsed Chase bank officials will stay in custody for three days in Kileleshwa police Station cells pending the ruling on bail application in Sh 1.1 billion theft case.
The Musimbas’, their companies Porting Access Limited and Itecs Limited, Dancan Kabui Gichu, James Mwaura Mwenja, Makarios Omondi Agumbi, Lucien Sunter and Ronald Petrus Vlasman denied money laundering charges, stealing and conspiracy to defraud the Bank Sh 1,150,125,587.20 before Senior Resident Magistrate Helen Onkwani.
The five are charged alongside the Banks’ former boss Zafrulla Khan who was charged on 13th September and detained until today when the court granted him bail.
Apart from Khan, the other accused persons failed to appear in court last week for plea taking leading to issuance of warrant of arrest against the couple, their companies, Sunter and Vlasman.
Prosecutor James Warui objected their release on bail claiming that the accused had failed to appear in court on Thursday last week for plea taking.
Through lawyer Cecile Miller for Gichu, Mwenja and Agumbi the court was informed that the three were not aware that they were required to appear in court on Thursday.
Miller who also represents Khan told the court that his clients are not at flight risk and should therefore be granted bail.
Afterwards, the magistrate granted Khan a bond of Sh 10 million and 2 suerties of the same amount or a cash bail of Sh 2 million.
His lawyer had also requested that he be granted permission to travel to the United State for his third heart surgery on grounds that he is not at flight risk since he had been granted permission in the other cases to travel and he did come back to the country to attend court.
The court granted the prayer on condition that a surety undertakes to avail him in court whenever he is required and considering that he has never absconded in the other two criminal cases against him.
Lawyer Steve Kimathi for the couple and their companies submitted that there were no compelling reasons tabled by the prosecution to deny his clients bail.
MP, wife request personal bond
Kimathi also requested the court to release Musimba on a personal bond pending the bail ruling on Thursday on grounds that he is an MP and therefore not likely to abscond. He told the court that there is an ongoing debate on the proposed 16 percent vat on petroleum products in parliament this week and he is expected to participate to represent the people of Kibwezi West.
In addition, the lawyer told the court that the MP’s wife should also be released on a personal bond since they have three children, one of which requires special care.
Prosecutor Warui responded that he was not informed that the accused person was a member of Parliament adding that since he had been pleaded to the charges, should be treated like the other accused persons.
“I am not even aware that the accused person is a Member of Parliament for Kibwezi West and if he has to debate matters in parliament there are other MP’s who can handle that,” said Warui.
He added that the cash/bond granted to an accused person should be commensurate to the offense charged.
All the accused persons were charged with conspiracy to defraud the monies by irregularly disbursing it to Porting Access Limited and Itecs Limited without following the payment process as stipulated under the finance policy of Chase Bank.
They are alleged to have committed the offense on diverse dates between 23rd January 2015 and 31st March 2016 at the Banks head office in Nairobi.
The Mp, his wife, Sunter, Vlasman and the two companies were charged with laundering Sh 409,682,900 by allegedly removing it from Chase Bank Internal Account and transferring it to an account domiciled at KCB Kipande Bank knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of crime.
Zafrulla, Kabui, Mwenja and Agumbi also faced money laundering Charges of Sh 740,442,687.20 which they allegedly removed the bank’s internal account and facilitated its transfer to two accounts domiciled at Paramount Universal Bank.
They are also charged with stealing the 1.1 billion from the bank, which got into their possession by virtue of their employment.
Court directed the prosecution to give their position on Sunter and Vlasman who had been issued with warrants of arrest but did not appear in court on 20th September, 2018 when the matter will be mentioned for the bail application.