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Lawyer fails to stop case on Karen land forgery

High Court judge George Odunga. FILE PHOTO | NMG
High Court judge George Odunga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A Nairobi lawyer accused of forging a deceased businessman’s will in the sale of a Sh500 million piece of land in upmarket Karen has lost the quest to quash his prosecution over the contentious transaction.

High Court judge George Odunga has dismissed the suit Guy Spencer Elms filed to block his arrest and prosecution, and instead ruled that the lawyer ought to prove his innocence before a criminal court.

Justice Odunga found that the judicial review division where Mr Elms filed the suit does not have the authority to delve into the facts of the matter, and that the lawyer had failed to prove that his looming prosecution has any procedural irregularities.

“Our criminal process entails safeguards, which are meant to ensure that an accused person is afforded a fair trial and the trial courts are better placed to consider the evidence and decide whether or not to place an accused on their defence,” Justice Odunga ruled, adding that even after placing the accused on his defence, the court may well proceed to acquit him.

Appeal decision

The judge therefore asked Mr Elms to subject himself to the criminal suit,  citing the fact that the lawyer had the option of appealing the decision in case he felt aggrieved.

“There is also an avenue for compensation by way of a claim for malicious prosecution. Consequently, the notice of motion dated December 1, 2016 fails and is dismissed with costs to the respondents,” the judge ruled. 

Mr Elms found himself in trouble after businesswoman Agnes Mugure claimed that she bought the disputed piece of land in Nairobi’s Karen area from the original owner, Roger Bryan Robson, for Sh100 million in 2011.

Mr Robson died in 2012 having left his will with Mr Elms, who was his lawyer. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) claims in a charge sheet it has prepared for the prosecution that Mr Elms planned to transfer the property to himself and that the lawyer had started lining up a buyer to purchase it for Sh70 million at the time investigations started.

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