Kenya: Sonko is a Fugitive Having Fled Prison, State Says in Opposing His Bail

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is led into the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in Nairobi on December 6, 2019.
9 December 2019

Nairobi — Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's troubled past haunted him on Monday, after the prosecution heavily relied on it to argue its case in opposing his bail or bond in a corruption case in which he denied more than 30 counts in a Sh357 million scandal.

The state specifically cited a case in which the governor escaped from Shimo La Tewa Maximum prison in Mombasa, more than a decade ago, portraying him as a dangerous person.

Prosecutors handling his case also told a magistrate's court that Sonko has a pending criminal case that has stalled "because he has refused to present himself."

Already, the prosecution said, a warrant of arrest has since been issued by a Magistrate's court in Mombasa.

Therefore, the prosecution argued, if he is released on bail, "Sonko is likely to abscond or interfere with witnesses."

"If released on bail or bond there is a high likelihood that he will interfere and intimidate witnesses who are junior officers and employees of Nairobi County Government," a state prosecutor submitted, after Sonko denied corruption-related charges including money laundering and bribery.

They accused the Governor of using his position to stop his staff against recording statements in the ongoing investigations and as such "releasing him will jeopardize investigations."

The prosecution further tightened the noose on Sonko by claiming he has threatened Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers during the course of investigations.

"Releasing him will impede or interfere with the ongoing probe," the court heard.

The prosecution also said he is a flight risk.

Among the stringent demands by the prosecution includes barring the Governor from accessing his office, submitting his passports and any other traveling documents.

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