Keroche couple case to be heard in January 2020
The trial of Keroche Breweries Limited owners Joseph and Tabitha Karanja Muigai will take place from January 26 to 31 next year.
The dates were agreed upon during pretrial conference before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku after the defence through Kioko Kilukumi confirmed they had been supplied with all witness statements and documentary exhibits.
The DPP through Catherine Mwaniki informed the court that they intend to call 14 witnesses and will be relying on a total of 217 documentary evidence to prove the case against the couple.
However, Keroche CEO Thabita Karanja appeared, the Chairman of the Board Joseph Karanja was absent and his lawyer Kilikumi informed the court that he was taken ill on Tuesday and he will be filing medical report to reflect his condition.
The court told the prosecution to avail an inventory that will guide on how the proceedings will be conducted.
The magistrate further directed Joseph to fill a medical report in court by Friday this week.
In the case, Karanja and Muigai pleaded not guilty to Sh14 billion tax evasion charges and were released on bail.
Thabitha is out on cash of Sh 10 million while the husband who is the chairman of board of directors, was given a cash bail of Sh2 million or bond of Sh5 million with similar surety.
Karanja also denied the charges on behalf of the company since four other directors were not in court.
They are alleged to have committed the offences between February 20, 2015, and July 20, 2019.
The amount involved is Sh14.5 billion Prosecution accused were involved in fraud by posting incorrect statements on excise duty by reducing the company’s tax liability.
Keroche Breweries is said to have failed to pay Excise Duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on some of its products including; Viena Ice, Crescent Vodka, and Summit beers as well as duty stamps.