High Court throws Ex-Kemri boss David Koech back to prison pending his 6-year jail term appeal

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 6 Oct, 2022 11:52 | 3 mins read
Davy Kiprotich Koech at Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi. PHOTO/COURTESY

Former Kemri Boss David Koech will have to stay longer in prison after the High Court declined to release him on Sh 4 million cash bail pending his six year jail term appeal application in a multimillion-shilling corruption case.

Justice Esther Maina declined the application by Koech's lawyer to have him released from Industrial Area Prison Remand where he is serving his sentence pending the appeal.

"I find the application has no merit and dismiss it. I direct that parties file their submission within 21 days to have the matter heard expeditiously," ruled Justice Maina.

The former Kemri boss had moved to the High court seeking to be released on bail on grounds that his health deteriorated while in custody.

"My client is suffering in custody and seeks that Sh 4 million he had deposited in the lower court as cash bail would admit him on the same as he is aged," said the lawyer.

But the court declined the request saying it can't admit Koech on bail until it hears the appeal.The judge further granted Koech 21 days to file his submissions that would assist the court in determining the matter.

In the appeal Koech is seeking the court to quash the serve six year jail term imposed on him saying that the trial magistrate Victor Wakumile erred in law by failure to consider the were inconsistent in the witness testimonies and evidence on record before convicting him.

The former Kemri Boss says the sentence against him is harsh and the same should be set aside.

On September 15,2021, Magistrate Wakumile slapped Koech with a fine of Sh19.6 million or serve six years in jail for corruptly acquiring public funds in another separate case.

The former long-serving Kemri director faced three counts of unlawfully transferring research funds from Kemri’s account at Standard Chartered Bank’s Kisumu branch, to an account with the same bank Yaya Centre in Nairobi.

Koech was found guilty of conspiring to defraud Kemri of over Sh19.8 million on diverse dates between May 2003 and April 2007.

The researcher is alleged to have unlawfully transferred Sh342 million belonging to Kemri’s pension fund to an account held by AMST at Standard Chartered Bank’s Yaya Centre branch.

The trial court found that Koech used his office to improperly confer a benefit on Essential Management Consultancy Ltd by allegedly withdrawing huge chunks of funds from Kemri’s pension fund without the authority of the board of trustees.

The anti-graft body alleges that Koech failed to comply with the law relating to the management of funds and ignoring Section 40 (b) of the Retirement Benefits Act.

The Kisumu account was allegedly registered under Kemri’s Centre for Vector Biology and Control Research (CVBCR), while the one in Nairobi was under the auspices of African Medical Services Trust (Amset), an organization run and controlled by the researcher.

The donor funds were meant for research work but D Koech allegedly diverted them to a company associated with him.

He served as Kemri director from 1986 until he was suspended in 2007 to allow investigations.

The researcher was nominated for the 2006 Genius Laureate of the American Biographical Institute and his name was included in the 500 Greatest Geniuses of the 21st Century.

He served as head of the division of vector-borne diseases in the Ministry of Health from 1981 to 1984, director of the clinical research centre of KEMRI from 1982 to 1984, and director of the biomedical sciences research centre from 1984-89.

Koech was the founder member, chief research officer and director at Kemri, a State-owned organization charged with the responsibility of carrying out health sciences research in the country.

He was also the chairman of a commission of inquiry into the Kenyan education system between 1998 and 1999 which recommended major changes in the country’s education system.

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