Ksh791 million NYS scandal case fails to proceed as magistrate cites illegibility of handwritten proceedings

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 25 Mar, 2022 15:46 | 2 mins read
Ben Gethi, one of the 11 suspects charged with money laundering over the Ksh791 National Youth Service (NYS) scandal. PHOTO/Courtesy

Eleven suspects charged with money laundering over the Ksh791 million National Youth Service (NYS) scandal now intend to write to Chief Justice Martha Koome to intervene over the delay of their trial.

When the matter came up for directions, the NYS prime suspects Josephine Kabura, Ben Gethi and nine others through their lawyers led by Kiraithe Wadungi protested the continuous delay of the hearing of the matter that has taken over three years now.

Wadungi informed the new trial magistrate Susan Shitubi that they will be petitioning CJ Koome in a bid to intervene over the delay occasioned by the transfer of the former trial magistrate Martha Mutuku.

The defence’s intended move comes after the matter failed to proceed for further hearing since the new magistrate said she is unable to read the handwritten proceedings of the former trial magistrate who had heard 13 witnesses in the matter.

Following the transfer of the new magistrate, the court earlier issued orders to have the proceedings typed but the same is yet to be done to allow Shitubi to proceed with the matter.

"It is difficult for me to proceed with this matter as l am unable to read the handwriting of magistrate Mutuku who was handling the matter. I order the proceedings in this matter to be typed on a priority basis. l adjourn this matter to September 5 and 6,2022," Shitubi ordered.

The case first stalled following the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak after the former Chief Justice ordered the closure of physical courts and later the transfer of the trial magistrate Mutuku last year.

In the case, Kabura and Gethi are charged alongside a city lawyer Patrick Onyango Ogolla, John Kago, Samuel Wachenje, Anthony Gethi Kihara, Benson Gachoka, John Hope Vandamme, Martin Gachara Wanjohi, mother of Gethi, Charity Wangui Gethi and Jedidah Gethi.

All the eleven suspects have pleaded not guilty to 16 counts relating to transactions that the prosecution says involved the stolen funds.

According to the charge sheet, the accused are alleged to have committed the offence between December 2014 and April 2015.

The eleven are accused of allegedly colluding to wire the amount from NYS coffers and using part of it to purchase property through phoney companies.

The prosecution says property bought include Range Rover, Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Prado, Land Cruiser, plots and houses in Roselyn Estate, clay city house property, Ruiru Juja east, Muthaiga North, Mercury House in Moi Avenue, Juja Farm, and a plot in Thika using the NYS cash but concealed under pseudo company names.