DPP granted more time to reconsider decision to prosecute Arror, Kimwarer dams scandal suspects
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has been given more time to reconsider a decision to further prosecute former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing Director David Kimosop and 12 others in the Ksh 54.7 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal.
While giving the directive, Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo granted the DPP until September 29 to come up with a comprehensive final decision on whom he wants to prosecute and drop from the case.
"The matter at hand has suffered a considerable delay in court, the prudent order would be to retain the mention date to September 29, 2021, to enable the completion of the review process by the DPP and the presentment of the final charges in the matter," Kombo ruled.
The directive comes after lawyers Taib Ali Taib and Alexander Muteti sought to be granted more time in the matter, saying that their client has received five applications from the accused persons in the case seeking review of their charges.
Among those who are said to have approached the DPP for a plea bargain over their corruption charges are Esther Jepchirchir, Isaac Kiiru, Geoffrey Mwangi, David Walunya and Boniface Mamboleo.
‘’We urge the court to allow the DPP who is bound under the fair administration and constitution to consider the applications made by the accused persons for review until September when the matter is fixed for mention," Taib said.
Taib further denied the allegation by the defence that the DPP has been causing further delay in the matter by failing to file an amended charge's sheet as earlier directed by the court
The defence led by Katwa Kigen had opposed the request by the DPP to be given more time, accusing him of delaying the matter, which was filed in court in 2019.
Kigen urging the court to fix the matter for hearing and any amendments to be made by the prosecution should also be done before the hearing date.
"We cannot accord the state any further days. We urge the court to give us hearing dates within which time prosecution will indicate which parties will be affected by the ongoing review of the charges against the accused persons," Kigen said.
The case sees former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing Director David Kimosop and his twelve co-accused person’s faces 19 graft charges of Conspiracy to defraud, willful failure to comply with laws relating to public procurement.
Neglect to perform official duties, abuse of office, failure to comply with lawful requirements made by an environment inspector and engaging in a project without prior planning have also been indicated on the charge sheet.
The prosecution alleged that between December 17, 2014, and January 31, 2019, former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing Director Kimosop and his co-accused persons.
Jointly with others not before court, they conspired to unlawfully procure the services of CMC di Ravenna-ITINERA JV for the development of Arror and Kimwarer multi-purpose dams project under a purported EPC which scheme was designed to defraud the government of Kenya of USD 501,829,769.
The embattled Kimosop is facing a similar case where he is charged together with former National Treasury CS Henry Rotich in relation to the Kimwarer and Arror multi-billion-shilling corruption case.
The two cases have stalled since July 2019 after the state was unable to arrest the directors of Italian firm CMC di Ravenna which was awarded the contract worth over KSh 54.7 billion for the construction of the two dam’s projects in Kimwarer and Arror, Elgeyo Marakwet.
According to the court proceedings, the court heard that the government of Kenya is yet to hand over 18 Italians who are on the run and are supposed to face charges in the matter to enable the matter to proceed for trial.
The 18 include directors of Italian construction company CMC di Ravenna, who have been separately charged from Rotich and Kimosop.