Suspended land cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu when she appeared before Anti-Corruption court to face charge of obstructing of investigations on Karen land probe.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Suspended Land’s Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu’s suffered a major blow after her application to seeking her trial separately from her co-accused persons was rejected by the Anti-corruption Magistrate court.
Anti-corruption Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi dismissed the application stating that there was clear inter linkages to the other charges the other accused persons were facing as the main source was Karen land and all the purported charges allegedly happened at Ardhi house where Ngilu was the Land’s Cabinet Secretary.
Mugambi also dismissed Ngilu’s assertion that she will suffer embarrassment if she is charged alongside the ministry officials saying her charge was not scandalous.
“The defense counsels raised the issue of malice by the prosecution but no evidence was provided in the court. I find no merit in the application and therefore dismiss it,” said Mugambi in his ruling.
Ngilu had appeared in court last Friday but failed to take plea after her lawyers led by Paul Muite made application for the CS trial to be heard separately and expidiously.
Her lawyers Paul Muite and Kioko Kilukumi had argued that the one count Ngilu was facing was not related to the other charges the other eight accused persons were facing.
Muite had requested the court for a separate trial with a separate charge sheet claiming the charge was a stand-alone charge adding that the eight other counts were not related to that of Ngilu.
“The charge Ngilu is facing is malicious as Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission have not recommended any charges against her in regard to anti-corruption and economic act, she is just facing the charge of obstructing persons acting under EACC,” he had said.
He had argued that subjecting Ngilu to a prolonged trial in regard to seven count would be violating her constitutional rights.
Kioko Kilukumi had reiterated Muite’ statement saying that the charge will embarrass the suspended CS as it will take time and financially affect Ngilu who wants her name cleared.
He said that separating the cases will mean expeditious hearing for her trial besides saving judicial time and resources.
However Mugambi dismissed the claim stating that the issue of a prolonged trial was a role that all the advocates should play in ensuring the case was a speedy one.
Mugambi also dismissed an application by Jos Konzolo and Telesource to stay criminal proceedings against them due to an ongoing civil suit over the ownership of the Karen land.
The magistrate ruled that he lacks jurisdiction to entertain the application saying only the High Court can determine it.
Ngilu was finally charged with obstructing EACC officials during the probe on the Karen land. She denied the charges saying that she could not have obstructed the investigations because she is the one who wrote to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter.
The other seven co-accused persons also denied the charges of illegally transferring Karen land and trying to conceal it.
The case will be mentioned on July 13 to determine whether the prosecution had supplied the defense counsels with witness statements and documentary evidence they wish to rely on during the trial.