High Court bars Waluke from leaving the country, says MP is a convict

Friday, October 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Sirisia MP John Waluke.

Sirisia MP John Waluke cannot travel outside the country because he is a convict, not a suspect, the High Court ruled yesterday.

Waluke, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 67 years in jail, had made an application seeking to have his passport released by the court to facilitate his travel to the US on a parliamentary assignment. 

But in her ruling, Lady Justice Esther Maina dismissed the application, saying the lawmaker is no longer an accused person but a convict.

“Waluke is a convict and cannot be allowed to travel outside the country,” she said.

Maina said Waluke (pictured) is no longer presumed innocent having been convicted by the Anti-Corruption Court last year.

Waluke was sentenced over theft of Sh297 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board.

“The applicant is a convicted person, who is out on bond. He cannot be treated the same way he was treated as an accused person where he enjoyed the presumption of innocence.

That presumption does not apply in this case, circumstances have since changed,” ruled Maina.

Waluke was sentenced alongside his business associate, Grace Wakhungu, over a fraudulent maize supply deal at the NCPB. Wakhungu was sentenced to 69 years.

Travel documents

They were, however, released on bond terms of Sh20 million for Waluke and Sh30 million for Wakhungu pending the determination of their appeals. 

They were also directed to surrender their passports and travel documents in court.

Court also ordered that they should not leave the country until the appeal is heard and determined but, if need arises, they can seek court’s permission. 

Waluke, through lawyer Elisha Ongoya, last week urged the court to grant him permission to travel and release his passport. 

The lawyer informed the court that the lawmaker is scheduled to travel on November 5 and return on November 18. 

But Justice Maina yesterday ruled that the court’s order barring the appellants from leaving the country has not been varied or set aside. Hearing of the appeals is scheduled to start on February 15, 2022.

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