25 January 2013

Kenya: Kiambu Traffic Boss in Trouble Over His Wealth

The High Court in Mombasa High yesterday directed the Kenyan anti-corruption watchdog to charge a senior traffic police officer suspected of concealing wealth acquired illegally.

Justice Evans Mureithi directed the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to charge Chief Inspector Gabriel Mbiti Mulei for "under declaring his wealth".

The former Malindi traffic base commandant will appear in an anti-corruption court to answer to several charges of submitting misleading information on his wealth declaration form in 2011.

Justice Mureithi directed the EACC to produce Mulei, who is now Kiambu traffic boss, in court within seven days to take plea against his charges.

Mulei, through lawyer Jared Magolo, filed a petition last December seeking to stop the EACC and the Director of Public Prosecutions from charging him.

Mulei said taking a plea for the charges will amount to incriminating himself. He said the charges are malicious. He said the EACC refused to furnish him with the wealth declaration form which was used for charging him. He said this violates his constitutional rights to a fair trial.

However the EACC, through lawyer Phillip Kagucia, said they were not obligated to furnish him with the evidence since he has not yet taken the plea.

"The requirement to supply evidence in advance does not mean that all evidence must be disclosed before the trial court," said Kagucia quoting High Court petition 317 of last year.

"Article 50 (2) (j) seek the rights of an accused person. Having declined to take plea the petitioner is not an accused persons...prosecution is not required at this stage to give evidence." Justice Mureithi noted that the petitioner's right had been breached by the EACC.

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