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Economy

Court demands documents in Keroche case

Tabitha Karanja
Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja leaving Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on September 2. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

The prosecution has been given two weeks to supply witness statements and other exhibits they will be relying on in the tax evasion charges against Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja and her husband James Karanja Muigai.

Appearing before chief magistrate Martha Mutuku Monday for the mention of the case, the prosecution was told to supply the documents by September 16. The court also set September 24 for pre-trial.

Last week, Mrs Karanja and Mr Muigai pleaded not guilty of evading taxes totalling Sh14.5 billion and were released on bail.

Mrs Karanja further denied the charges on behalf of the company because four other directors were not present in court.

The charges stated that they were involved in fraud by posting incorrect statements on excise duty by reducing the company’s tax liability.

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They are alleged to have committed the offences between February 20, 2015 and July 20, 2019.

Chief magistrate Francis Andayi directed Mr Muigai to post cash bail of Sh2 million to secure his release. Mrs Karanja was directed to deposit a cash bail of Sh10 million plus Sh15 million on behalf of the company. The charges stated that they were involved in fraud by posting incorrect statements on excise duty by reducing the company’s tax liability. They are alleged to have committed the offences between February 20, 2015 and July 20, 2019.

Mrs Karanja defended the company saying it has existed for 22 years and in the period, gained and solidified a reputation of a champion of local entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, the pre-trial against businessman Humphrey Kariuki, who has denied 21 counts of tax evasion amounting to Sh41 billion will be held on September 5.

Mr Kariuki, Mr Stuat Gerald Herd, Robert Thinji and Peter Njenga Kuria and Wow Beverages have denied charges of fraud, tax evasion and aiding in tax evasion and possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps.

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