By SAM ALFAN
Prominent Nairobi businessman Mohan Galot was today declined to take his plea after his defence team tabled in court a High court order stopping the prosecution of the businessman in relation to ownership of companies in dispute.
Through his lawyer Kibe Mungai the businessman informed Senior Principal Magistrate Joseph Karanja that the summons to appear in court were against the high court directive issued by Justice Mumbi Ngugi on March 12 which sought to stop the prosecution and police from taking any action against the businessman until the High Court matter is settled.
A heated exchange ensued between the prosecution and the defence as to whether Mr Galot should take his plea yet there was a court order in force. Prosecutor Charles Wanjohi told court that the orders were invalid citing a mismatch in the dates given in the high court order. However he was put to task by the defence to explain the circumstances that led to the summons but he opted to call the investigating officer a Mr Wanjala to explain who was behind the summons. The officer informed court that he was not aware of the high court order as he had been directed by an official from the DPP’s office to charge the accused in court.
Lawyer Mungai said his client was surprised when he was summoned to appear in court to be charged yet there was an high court order stopping his prosecution. “This action by the respondents in the high court order is clearly a breach of the orders and contempt of court. Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney- General’s offices are aware of the orders and they remain in place until a determination is made.” Mungai argued.
Mungai told court that the high court order restrained the complainants from arresting or summoning Mr Galot in relation to the companies linked to the case. “The high court order required the accused to present himself before the Capital Markets Authority which he complied with..” Mungai said. He faulted the prosecution and police for issuing summons in total disregard of the high court order adding that it was the responsibility of the officer who wrote the charge sheet to reveal to the court that there was a court order restraining police from prosecuting the businessman. “This is deliberately misleading the magistrate to sign a charge sheet in furtherance of contempt of court. He urged the court to strike out the charges leveled against the businessman. He also asked for action against the police who issued the summons and arraignment in court of Mr Galot.
The magistrate directed the matter to be mentioned on April 15 for further directions.