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Economy

Kamau suffers blow after court orders graft trial to continue

Suspended Transport and Infrastructure secretary Michael Kamau. PHOTO | FILE
Suspended Transport and Infrastructure secretary Michael Kamau. PHOTO | FILE 

Suspended Transport secretary Michael Kamau will stand trial for graft after the High Court on Tuesday rejected his bid to stop the proceedings.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the minister had failed to show how his rights would be violated if the trial proceeds.

“In my view, there is no violation or threat of violation that the petitioner may suffer if the proceedings continue. The order for stay of criminal proceedings is therefore declined,” she said.

Mr Kamau had gone to court seeking to stop the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from prosecuting him, saying he might not get a fair trial in a magistrate’s court.

He argued that the anti-corruption watchdog was not properly constituted by the time a report recommending his prosecution was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Kamau was last week released on a cash bail of Sh1 million after pleading not guilty to corruption charges at the lower court. He faces four counts of graft related to the ongoing construction of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Kimilili Road in western Kenya.

Justice Ngugi, however, said the petition filed by the minister had raised a serious constitutional issue as to whether the EACC can operate without commissioners.

She noted that previous matters determined by the High Court over the Constitution were during the period of government transition.

The matter has been referred to the Chief Justice to appoint a three-judge bench to determine the legality of the same and whether the EACC can conduct investigations on orders from the Executive.

The criminal proceedings in the magistrate’s court will be mentioned on June 16.

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