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Economy

Court declines to stop trial of ex-PS Omollo

 Lilian Omollo
Former principal secretary Lilian Omollo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court Wednesday declined to stop the ongoing trial of former Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo and others implicated in the National Youth Service (NYS) scam pending the determination of a petition she has filed on witness coaching.

Ms Omollo argues that the common witnesses in the cases before three magistrates keep altering their testimonies.

All civil servants, including Ms Omollo, former NYS director general Richard Ndubai and 28 others appear in all the three cases while the traders implicated are tried before different courts.

But in the application, Ms Omollo through Stephen Ligunya said of the 40 witnesses, 23 are common in all the three courts. He said three witnesses who have so far testified, modify their testimony to introduce new matters not covered in their witness statements.

“There is irrefutable evidence of improper and intentional influence on testimony by prosecution witnesses through witness collusion and witness coaching,” he said.

The former PS wants the court to order the three magistrates to sit together during the hearing and cross-examination of the common witnesses.

But the DPP through principal prosecution counsel Caroline Kirimi argued that the petition was an abuse of court process because the High Court lacks jurisdiction to form a bench of three magistrates to conduct the trial.

Justice Onyiego directed the parties to appear before him on June 5, but declined to stop the trial over loss of money at the NYS.

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