31 October 2012

Kenya: Nabutola Asks for Bail Pending Appeal

Former tourism PS Rebeccah Nabutola who is serving jail term for fraud now wants to be given bail pending appeal. Nabutola together with former Kenya Tourism Board boss Achieng Ong'ong'a and businessman Duncan Muriuki yesterday appeared before High Court judge Mbogholi Msagah for the first time since they were jailed on September 10.

However, their bail application was not heard as they were asked to take hearing dates from registry. Nabutola and Ong'ong'a were each found guilty and sentenced to at least three years in prison plus fines of Sh1.5 and Sh2 million respectively. Muriuki is serving seven years in jail and was fined Sh17.8 million.

They were charged in May 2009 following recommendations by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, now known as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Also fined was Maniago tours but the money was not recovered by the EACC after High Court issued an order stopping it. EACC was stopped from recovering Sh8.9 million from Maniago Safaris Ltd.

Maniago had sought to clear its name arguing that it was never represented in the criminal case as required. The company also distanced itself from the alleged transactions that led to the criminal charges saying it never authorized the transactions.

Maniago Safaris together with Nabutola, Ong'ong'a and Muriuki were charged with three separate counts of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of fraudulent acquisition of public property contrary to the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

The case involved investigations in the illegal payments of money to a tour company that coordinated a visit to the Mara by President Mwai Kibaki and other top government officials. Their appeal is pending before court.

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