Nandi Hills Member of Parliament Alfred Keter and two others have been charged with conspiracy to defraud Central Bank of Kenya over Sh 600 million through forged Treasury Bills.
Keter who was charged alongside Desai Limited Directors Madat Saburali Chatur and Johnstone Arthur Sakwa was also charged with ten other counts among them forgery and uttering false documents.
In the first count, the three were charged with presenting forged Treasury Bills issue No.1138 dated 5th February 1990 valued at Sh 286,000,000 to the CBK with intent to defraud the bank.
They are alleged to have committed the offense on 16th February 2018 at the CBK in Nairobi County jointly with others not before court.
The accused persons were also charged with conspiracy to defraud CBK Sh 347,000,000 by presenting forged Treasury Bills issue No. 1148 dated 5th February 1990. The MP and his co accused were further charged with forging the above bills.
The three faced another count of making a fake deposit slip for Bills No. 1138 valued at Sh 272,601,095.92 allegedly drawn at Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited purporting it to be a genuine and valid deposit from the said bank.
Keter, Chatur and Sakwa were further charged with forging another cheque for Bill issue No. 1148 value at Sh 330,743,287.70 allegedly drawn at Kenya Commercial Bank Kipande House purporting it to be genuine.
The accused further faced a charge of forging headed letters allegedly from CKB for Bills No. 1138 valued at Sh 286 million and Bills No. 1148 valued at Sh 347 million purporting them to have been issued and signed by Maina Warui, the Registrar at National debt office at CBK.
They were lastly charged with uttering false documents namely 18 Treasury Bills issue No. 1138, 24 Treasury Bills issue No.1148, two cheque deposit slips for No. 1133 and 1148 and two letters purportedly signed by Maina Warui the National debt office registrar to Kennedy Kaunda Abuga, Director Legal Service at CBK, purporting them to be genuine documents issued by CBK.
All the accused persons denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.
Bond objection for Chatur
The prosecution lead by counsel Daniel Karuri and Solomon Naulikha objected to the release of the third accused person on bond saying that his identity was yet to be confirmed making him a flight risk.
The court heard that Chatur presented himself as Madat Saburali Chatur whereas investigations have established that his name and Identity Card number belong to person save for his photograph.
However, Chatur’s lawyer Stanley Kangahi objected the prosecution’s prayer saying that no evidence had been included in the application showing that either of the Identity Cards was a forgery. Kangahi added that among the counts his client was facing, there was no charge touching on the issue of Identity Cards and no aliases were provided in the charge sheet.
Keter’s lawyer Kimutai Bosek asked the court to furnish the defense with CBK’s CCTV footage from the time his client stepped into the premises, had a meeting with CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge, to the time they were arrested by police.
Bosek also requested the court to compel Safaricom Limited to furnish them with telephone conversations and short messages (SMS) and dates exchanged between his client and the CBK governor from the month of November 2017.
The court heard that it was crucial for the defense to be furnished with the above details in order to be able to proceed with the case.
In addition, Bosek prayed that the defense be allowed to get their own expert to verify the authenticity of the Bills adding that they will be in a better position to defend the matter after getting report from their expert and the state’s.
The magistrate directed that the defense be furnished with the CCTV footage and documentary evidence to be relied on by the prosecution. He further directed Keter to make an application to Safaricom requesting for the phone data.
Magistrate Andayi also granted the third accused person bail saying that the prosecution did not state any compelling reasons to warrant denial of bond.
The three were therefore released on a bond of Sh 5 million or a cash bail of Sh 2 million. They were also directed to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) once every week for a reasonable period of time.
The case will be mentioned on 5th March and will be heard on 4th and 12th June 2018. The prosecution intends to call a total of 12 witnesses.