FORMER FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICIAL CHARGED

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Thuita and his co-accused on the doc as their charges being read in court

By SAM ALFAN

THREE former senior officials of the Foreign Affairs ministry yesterday formally denied criminal charges relating to the Sh1.5billion Tokyo embassy scandal.

Former Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi, former Deputy Director of Administration, Anthony Mwaniki Muchiri and former Charge D’Affairs at the Kenyan embassy in Tokyo, Allan Waweru Mburu and were granted Sh2million cash bail each pending trial on March 24.

The trio appeared before Nairobi Acting Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo and pleaded not guilty to charges fraudulently approving the purchase of the proposed Kenyan embassy, failure to comply with procurement laws and abuse of office. Their bid to stop the prosecution was recently thwarted by High Court Judge David Majanja.

The first charge alleged that Thuita and Waweru, on diverse dates between January and October 2009 jointly conspired to commit an offence of corruption by approving the purchase of the property known as 3-24-3 yakumo Meguro-ku in Tokyo for the Chancery of the Kenya Embassy and Ambassador’s residence at a price of 1.75 billion Japanese Yen while aware that a fair price could have been obtained had proper procurement procedures been adhered to.

On the second count, Thuita and Mburu are accused of abuse of office by sanctioning the purchase of the property to improperly confer a benefit of 318,700,000 Japanese Yen to Nobuo Kuriyama being the difference of the 1.75 billion Japanese Yen that was actually paid and the 1,431,300,000 being the value that was assessed by the Kenya Government’s valuer.   

Mburu is facing a separate charge of signing the contract at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo, Japan on June 30, 2009 without lawful authority.

The three men faced another count of flouting procurement regulations by directly purchasing the property without following the laid down procedures.

Mulekyo directed the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to provide the defence team with a list of the potential witnesses and all their statements and documentary evidence. The case will be mentioned on December 20 to confirm compliance.

Ends.

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