Economy

DPP fights Kidero bid to expunge evidence in Sh213m graft suit

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Former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Director of Public Prosecutions has opposed an application by former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero seeking to expunge bank statements from his trial over claims that they were illegally obtained.
  • He told High Court judge James Wakiaga heard that the bank statements- mostly from Co-operative bank city hall branch- were obtained through a court order.

Director of Public Prosecutions has opposed an application by former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero seeking to expunge bank statements from his trial over claims that they were illegally obtained.

He told High Court judge James Wakiaga heard that the bank statements- mostly from Co-operative bank city hall branch- were obtained through a court order.

Through assistant DPP Joseph Riungu, the prosecution, however said Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (ECCA) obtained the order allowing it to get the documents from a Kibera court. He further told the court that Dr Kidero was aware of the documents and cannot claim that he was ambushed.

“There exists no basis for expunging the documents from the court records. The applicant has not made any case for issuance of the orders sought,” he submitted.

On his part, Dr Kidero has maintained that the bank statements were illegally obtained and that he and his co-accused were supplied with a different bank statements before the trial commenced.

He said they only learnt of the documents when a Co-operative Bank official testified during the trial.

At the trial court, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti had ruled that the prosecution should have obtained his permission before tabling the document.

However, the magistrate refused to expunge the testimony of Charity Williams, a Co-op bank official, from the record, prompting both the prosecution and the defence teams to file appeals before the High Court.

“This is not a matter to be taken lightly because the fairness of the process and administration of justice to all the parties depends on the integrity of the parties and of the trial court,” Dr Kidero stated in submissions filed in court.

He said being a criminal case where the liberties of the accused persons are at stake, the bar is much higher than in civil disputes and therefore the trial court must be even more stringent in its enforcement of the law.

The statement contains the County operations account held at Co-operative Bank, City Hall branch from January 1, 2014 to April 19, 2016.

Dr Kidero has been charged together with former chief officers in his administration over the alleged loss of Sh213 million. They have denied a total of 35 counts.

The charges include conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property, and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body.

Justice Wakiaga will give his ruling on December 17.