Rotich and Thugge freed on Sh15mn cash bail, ordered to stay away from office

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By CAPITAL REPORTER, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge have been ordered to deposit Sh15 million cash bail or a bond of Sh50 million to secure their freedom after denying corruption charges.

The two are among 28 accused of taking part in fraud in the planned construction of two multi-purpose dams projects in Kimwarer and Arror, Elgeyo Marakwet, estimated at Sh63 billion.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti also ordered the two to stay out of their offices during the entire period of their case, following an application by special counsel Taib Ali Taib who is prosecuting the case for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“The places of work of the accused persons is considered a scene of crime and they should not access them unless accompanied by the Investigating Officer,” the Magistrate ordered on Tuesday evening when he freed them on bail.

Other accused persons, including the Chief Executive Officer of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) Geoffrey Wahungu were freed on varied bond terms ranging from Sh750,00 to Sh50 million.

There are 28 accused persons in total facing charges ranging from abuse of office, corruption, conferring a benefit to themselves among others, but only 14 were in court Tuesday.

The magistrate ordered those who missed the court appearance to present themselves to the DCI on Wednesday, before warrants of arrests can be issued to those who will not have heeded the order.

DPP Noordin Haji had during bail hearings told the court he is not opposed to bail applications by 10 suspects arraigned in court on graft-related charges over a Sh65 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams’ scandal.

Taib who made submissions on Haji’s behalf said he was not against Rotich, Thugge and other accused persons being released on bail, as it is their constitutional right.

“If they are willing to accede to these conditions, we will have no problem with what they have requested. The amount of monies that this republic has lost through these accused persons is immense,” Taib submitted.

“We will be praying to the court if these requirements are met and acceded to by the accused persons, we will be praying to this court to fix the terms of such bail to commensurate to the billions whose loss has been occasioned by these accused persons,” he added.

Tuesday’s stance by the prosecution marked a change from a long-held tradition by the prosecution which often mounts opposition to bail applications by corruption suspects.

The DPP released a list of 28 individuals, accused for playing a role in the multi-billion shillings scandal, among them officials of Italian firm CMC di Ravenna that was contracted to construct the dams.

The State has applied for a warrant of arrest for the officials who failed to surrender.

Some lawyers however committed to secure the appearance of the suspects who were unable to show up in court on Friday.

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