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Economy

NYS: Court rules Gethi’s mother can’t retain prime property

Mr Ben Gethi before the Public Accounts Committee on October 3, 2016: A judge noted that his mother had not proved that detaining the properties had denied her reasonable living standards and caused hardship. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Mr Ben Gethi before the Public Accounts Committee on October 3, 2016: A judge noted that his mother had not proved that detaining the properties had denied her reasonable living standards and caused hardship. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Charity Wangui Gethi, the mother of one of the key suspects in the theft of Sh791 million from the National Youth Service (NYS), has lost a bid to retain property bought using the stolen funds.

High Court judge Hedwig Ong’udi, of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division, ruled that the Asset Recovery Agency should continue freezing the suspect property while forensic investigations are ongoing.

Justice Ong’udi noted that Ms Wangui had not proved that detaining the properties had denied her reasonable living standards and caused hardship.

The accused through her lawyer had submitted that her right to property has been violated by the agency, she had been deprived reasonable living expense, loss of business and that the court did offer her an audience while detaining the property.

“After analysing the material before me, I find that the threshold set out in Section 89 of Proceeds Of Crime And Anti-money Laundering Act has not been met by the applicant to warrant the variation or rescinding of the orders issued by this court ,” ruled Judge Ong’undi.

“In the circumstances, I find no merit in the Application dated 24th February 2016 and dismiss it with costs.”

On November 25, 2015, the Asset Recovery Agency secured orders freezing property suspected to have been bought using proceeds from the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

The court in November 2015 issued the orders prohibiting transfer, mortgage, attachment or disposal of three plots registered under Ms Wangui’s name in Muthaiga North in Nairobi and in Thika.

Other properties identified for seizure and registered under Ms Wangui’s name were a house in Rosslyn Estate valued at Sh63.5 million and a jeep valued at Sh6.3 million.

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