Kenya: Court Allows Fresh Evidence in Sonko's Graft Case

17 September 2020

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has lost a spirited fight to block the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) from introducing fresh charges in the Sh14 million graft case against him and three others.

Anti-Corruption Court Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko allowed the DPP to substitute the fresh charges against Mr Sonko, Mr Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi of Yiro Enterprises Limited and Antony Otieno Ombok alias Jamal and ROG Securities Ltd.

In his ruling, Mr Ooko said the law allows the DPP to introduce fresh charges against a suspect before the conclusion of the trial.

He said Articles 50, 157, 159 and Section 213 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) gives the DPP mandate to charge and prosecute suspects in criminal cases.

He further said that the DPP had stated that the changes he was intending to introduce are from the evidence compiled by the investigators.

"The DPP stated the funds came from Nairobi County Government which was not included in the earlier charges filed against Sonko and others last December," Mr Ooko said.

The magistrate said that the accused will not suffer any prejudice if the fresh charge is admitted.

The magistrate said the DPP further said no fresh witnesses will be introduced.

"I have carefully read the affidavits attached to the application by the DPP and the written submissions of defence lawyers Cecil Miller and George Kithi for Sonko and arrive at the finding the plea to amend the charges is worthy," Mr Ooko ruled.

He dismissed the objection by Mr Miller to the introduction of the new charges against Mr Sonko.

The court said the objection lacks merit and the wheels of justice tilt in favour of the DPP.

He admitted the new charges and called upon the accused to answer them.

Mr Sonko, Mr Odhiambo and Mr Ombok denied charges of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption through the hiring of heavy machinery which to loss of Sh14 million from the Nairobi County Government.

Mr Sonko denied charges of money laundering and receiving of Sh8.4million knowing they were proceeds of crime.

The court heard he received the money through accounts he held at a local bank.

Mr Ombok denied charges of receiving Sh14 million being public property and clearly knowing they were proceeds of crime.

Trial of this case begins on September 21.

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