Foreign Affair PS Thuita Mwangi, who was recently charged over Sh1.1 billion scandal surrounding the purchase of the Kenya embassy in Tokyo, will not be suspended after all.
High Court judge George Odunga has temporarily stopped the prosecution of Thuita. Justice Odunga also stopped the suspension of Thuita from office until March 12 when his application challenging his prosecution will be argued.
In his application, Thuita had said the decision by the government to prosecute him is "informed by malice". He also said there is no case against him and urged the high court to stop his prosecution.
Mwangi was charged on March 1 but did not plead to the charges after his lawyers raised an objection.
At the lower court, Thuita and the deputy director of administration at the ministry, Anthony Muchiri, refused to plead to the charges saying their rights had been violated.
Thuita said he had not been supplied with documents from the prosecution to help him make "a cautionary statement".
He also said he had several constitutional issues which he wanted the court's interpretation. This included getting a determination on when a trial starts-- before or after a suspect takes plea.
According to Thuita, the trial starts from the day an individual is informed that the prosecution wants to charge them. If the court finds in his favor, Thuita wants to be provided with the evidence that the police have against him before he takes plea. He argues that his right to a fair trail would have been infringed if the court decides against this application.
According to the charge sheet,Thuita and Mburu are alleged to have approved the purchase of the Tokyo embassy residence at 1.75 billion Japanese Yen between January 2009 and October 2009 which was in contravention of the procurement procedures. The state argues that a fair market price could have been obtained if the proper procedures had been followed.
They are also charged with abuse of office in relation to the same transaction. It is alleged that they used their offices to confer upon themselves 318,700,000 Japanese Yen which is the difference between the actual price of 1.75 billion Japanese Yen and 1.4 billion Japanese Yen which is the value the property had been assessed by the government.
On third count they are accused of failing to comply with the law relating to procurement in carrying out the transaction.