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Economy

NYS theft suspects want Uhuru gagged over jail promise

Former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai.
Former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Suspects on trial over theft of more than Sh226 million from National Youth Service (NYS) want President Uhuru Kenyatta and other top government officials stopped from promising that the Judiciary will deliver a conviction in the suit.

Lead defence lawyer Assa Nyakundi urged Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti to bar the country’s politicians and State officers from commenting on the case in local and international forums including declarations the Judiciary will hand down convictions.

Mr Kenyatta in early November expressed confidence that the ongoing corruption cases will lead to convictions and return of public assets that were allegedly stolen.

“In recent times senior politicians and state officers have been making public utterances promising convictions yet they are not the ones trying the NSY scam case,” Mr Nyakundi told the magistrate while asking the court to direct the prosecution to avail all the documents intended to be used in evidence.

He said the political class should be reminded that commending and discussing about the ongoing case is subjudice or breach of rule that bars discussions on matters before court.

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He urged the magistrate to stamp his authority and stop the public discussions since they are harmful to the right for fair trial.

The accused persons include former Public Service and Youth Affairs PS Lilian Omollo, former NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai and dozens of civil servants and business people.

They are accused of theft of funds at NYS through fictitious invoices for goods such as firewood and stationery and multiple payments on one supplier invoice.

Lack of convictions on scandals that rocked the Jubilee leadership in its first term, such as the Afya House saga and the first scandal at NYS, has led critics to question whether the current prosecutions will bear fruit.

But Mr Kenyatta is confident of the jailing of the suspects.

“We believe that we have a solid case and have done all the necessary investigations. We are looking at what the Judiciary will do. I am confident that they will come through for the people of Kenya,” he said in France, during an interview on France24 TV. The interview happened on November 11.

Yesterday, other lawyers Migos Ogamba and Stephen Ligunya complained they have not supplied them with all the evidence which it intends to

Mr Ogoti directed the defence and prosecution to sieve through all the documents and be supplied to the accused.

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