Sonko takes fresh plea in graft case as trial kicks off

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at Milimani Law Courts during the hearing of Sh10 million graft case. Photo/PD/CHARES MATHAI

The hearing of Sh10 million graft case against Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko yesterday kicked off with a prosecution protected witness taking the stand.

The witnesses took to the stand in after trial Magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed that he testifies in camera using pseudo names and his identity hidden due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“He will use pseudo names and give evidence in a closed door session while hiding in a witness box,” ordered Ogoti.

Witness protection

The protected witness is among three other witnesses who were placed under witnesses protection agency in February this year, after the High Court allowed Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission request to have them testify under witness protection.

The hearing commenced after Sonko and two others were charged afresh in the matter.

This is after Ogoti declined to allow an application by defence lawyers led by Danstan Omari, Cecil Miller and George Kithi, to defer the plea taking to today morning to await a High Court decision on a suit challenging the charges against the three.

The three pleaded not guilty to the 13 fresh charges after the Director of Public Prosecutions was allowed to include an abuse of office charge against them.  

In the amended charge sheet,  Sonko is charged alongside ROG Security Limited and its director Antony Otieno Ombok, for  conspiring to commit an offence of corruption by extorting Sh10 million as an inducement to facilitate payments to Web Tribe Limited by Nairobi county government in January 2019. 

Ogoti ordered that the case will now be heard on a day to day basis for 28 days adding that no applications or adjournment will be entertained during the hearing.   

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