DPP appeals against Humphrey Kariuki acquittal in tax evasion case

By Sheila Mutua On Mon, 14 Dec, 2020 16:06 | < 1 min read
Humphrey Kariuki - City Businessman
African Spirits Limited owner Humphrey Kariuki (centre) with his lawyers Cecil Miller (left ) and lead counsel Kioko Kilukumi during a past appearance in court [PHOTO | FILE]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has filed an appeal at the High Court seeking to overturn the acquittal of businessman Humphrey Kariuki by the Magistrate’s Court over alleged tax evasion.

Through an application filed on December 11, and signed by prosecution counsel Carol Sigei, the DPP said he was dissatisfied by the decision of the lower court to acquit the suspects in the alleged tax evasion case.

In the application, the DPP said the magistrate misdirected himself in matters of law by acquitting the suspects whilst his office still had a witness ready to testify.

The prosecution said the magistrate failed to deliver a ruling on the merits of the application for the file to be placed before the Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi for consolidation as prayed for. 

“That the learned honourable magistrate erred in law and facts by reserving the matter for ruling at 11:00 am on 7th December 2020 and failing to deliver the same at the appointed time without giving any reason for such failure” read the application.

The DPP faulted the magistrate saying the lower court failed to counterbalance the interests of the administration of justice against the expediency of the moment in that the DPP advanced the reasons for the intended consolidation.

Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot acquitted Kariuki under Section 202 of the Constitution.

“The prosecution is not ready to present witnesses even after been given three days to do so, this gives me no option other than to invoke the provisions of section 202 of the criminal procedural code,” the Magistrate said.

Kariuki’s woes started in February 2019 when the Directorate of Criminal Investigations raided the premises of his company in Thika town, Africa Spirits Limited, over tax fraud claims.

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