DPP denies going to Italy to probe Arror and Kimwarer scandal
The Director of Public Prosecution(DPP) Noordin Haji on Friday March 19, 2021 denied ever going to Italy to investigate the multi billion-shilling Kimwarer and Arror dams’ scandal case.
Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich had asked Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti to compel the DPP to supply him with the investigation report from Italy, where Haji allegedly made a trip to investigate the scam.
The trial magistrate said that he had not been supplied with the said report for the period from July 1 and July 20 in 2019.
Rotich's lawyer Paul Ng'arwa said said the findings of the investigation should be disclosed.
"The DPP has not disclosed to us their findings and notes of their investigations trip to Italy. He should disclose," said Paul Ng'arwa
Ng'arwa said the DPP and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) in 2019 told the press they were going to Italy and South Africa to investigate the Kimwarer-Arror scandal.
The court heard that they had travelled to Italy to recover Sh1.1 billion from an insurance company know as Sace.
"You were misled when you were told that DPP Haji went to Italy and South Africa. The DPP does not engage in investigations nor is he interested in investigations but his only role is to prosecute," said the DPP through Senior State Counsel Ali Taib.
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During the pretrial conference, Rotich further wanted the DCI through the investigating officer Thomas Tanui to supply him with witness statements of former Treasury Principal Secretary(PS) Kamau Thugge and ex-Wildlife PS Susan Koech who have since been made state witnesses. The charges against Kamau Thugge and Susan Koech were dropped in the plea bargaining and the two became state witnesses.
The former Treasury boss told the court the prosecution has only supplied him with eleven statements from the two former PSs.
However, the prosecution says it has lined up fifty two witnesses to testify against Rotich and his co-accused persons.
The DPP through state counsel Alexander Muteti, said the case will take approximately 524 hours, about three months, to conclude.
He said they have supplied over 50,000 evidence documents electronically to be relied upon by the prosecution.
“Considering the complexity of this case, in terms of the number of accused persons and voluminous documentary evidence, the time is enough to conclude the case,” said Muteti.
However, Rotich says he will require 680 hours to close-examine all the state witnesses in the case and 8 hours a day for the hearing of the matter.
At the same time the court heard that the government of Kenya is yet to be handed over 18 Italians by the government of Italy to face charges in the matter.
The 18 Italians are the directors of the companies that were awarded the multi-billion of the construction of the two dams and are now on the run.
On July 23, 2019, Rotich was accused of flouting procurement procedures in awarding a contract worth over 63 billions of shillings for the construction of the two dams to Italian firm CMC de Ravenna.
They were 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.
Charges facing them include conspiracy to defraud, failure to comply with applicable procurement laws, engaging in a project without prior planning and abuse of office among other economic crimes.
The matter will be mentioned on April 23 for the court to give it's ruling on the pre-trial directions.