Chief magistrate Eston Nyaga Monday suspended a Sh2 billion land fraud case against two Kensalt Limited directors, following a High Court order.
Mr Nyaga also dismissed a plea by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue a fresh warrant of arrest against Mansukhlala Patel and Perry Mansukh Kasangra for failing to appear before the Makadara Court.
“Once the High Court stays proceedings in a lower court, the trial magistrate stops immediately,” Mr Nyaga ruled.
He said there would be no further action on the criminal case until he is advised otherwise.
He directed the case be mentioned March 9. Kensalt Limited, associated with Mr Patel and Tafflus Manufacturers are battling over ownership of the 10 acre piece of land in Embakasi, Nairobi.
State prosecutor Jackline Kisoo had urged the magistrate to order for their arrest, noting that the High Court directive did not exclude them from attending court.
Concurring with defence lawyer William Arusei, the magistrate ruled “once a trial is stopped by a superior court then the corresponding court has to comply otherwise it boils down to contempt.”
Justice Pauline Nyamweya halted all the proceedings pending her decision. The initial warrant of arrest was lifted on December 23, 2017 four days before Justice Nyamweya stayed the plea taking against the two directors.
Mr Patel, Mr Kasangra and former Baringo South MP Lawi Kiplagat filed a petition in the High Court seeking to stop the criminal case filed against them by the DPP saying the “same land in dispute is subject to another case at the High Court.”
Mr Arusei told Mr Nyaga, police defied a court order restraining any action on the land in dispute by charging the them with forgery, conspiracy to defraud and illegal retention of the property.
Together with James Wainaina, a trader, they are accused of conspiring to defraud deceased former Lamu East MP Abubakar Madhubuti the land at Kia Ng’ombe in Embakasi.
The alleged offence was committed between July 1 1985 and July 13 1994.
Mr Kiplagat and Mr Wainaina denied the charges and are out on bond.