Businessman Kariuki wins as court rejects DPP attempt to vary his bond terms
A Nairobi court has rejected an attempt by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to vary bond terms for businessman Humphrey Kariuki to get his two passports back.
In his ruling, the Milimani Chief magistrate Francis Andayi agreed with an earlier order issued by senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot last Thursday in another case against Kariuki that requires him to only present a surety to guarantee his attendance in court.
The DPP through Catherine Mwaniki wanted Kariuki to get back his Sh10 million cash bail deposited in court and instead post bond and a surety.
Kariuki through lawyer Cecil Miller had vehemently objected the request saying the prosecution attempt to vary the bond terms saying the same were punitive.
Miller informed the court that Kariuki's two Kenyan and Cypriot passports had been released to him by another court only for the order to be reversed due to a multiplicity of cases in court.
The court had released the passports to enable him travel for urgent business meetings in United States of America, Gabon and Switzerland.
At the same time Africa Spirits Limited has moved to court seeking orders the re-opening of the Thika-based factory.
The company through lawyer Miller argues that the fate of over 500 employees hangs in the balance following closure of the factory.
Miller told Francis Andayi on Wednesday that he wants evidence taken at the factory on Friday after which it be handed over to the owners.
He argued that the firm alongside WOW Beverages used to remit Sh150 million every month to the taxman and its ironical that they are unable to remit the same yet its shareholders are in court over tax matters.
The lawyer said since the prosecution had rushed to charge Kariuki and his co-accuses, they should be equally quick to prosecute the case.
He argued that given the scenario, the taxman has lost Sh1.2 billion in revenue so far from ASL and WOW Beverages.
He said there was concern over machinery at the factory and products stored there.
He also raised the issue of a death that occurred in the premises which he said they wanted the DPP to explain.
He said the DPP should table a postmortem report in court to state what caused the death since the owners of the factory have not had access for over six months.
He also said the owners of the factory do have have access to cash in the factory which should be handed back to the CBK in line with the order to recall Sh1,000 notes.
He wondered what would happen if the prosecution delays prosecuting the case has been witnessed saying there was a possibility the status quo could remain two to three years from now making it necessary to have it re-opened to safeguard the interests of the owners.