The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution says it is not planning to arrest businesswoman Tabitha Karanja and her husband, Joseph Karanja, over suspected tax evasion allegations.
The Karanjas, through their lawyer Irungu Kang’ata, told Justice James Wakiaga on Thursday, August 29, that they fear being rearrested over the said-tax fraud; and, therefore, they wanted the court to grant them anticipatory bail.
In a Wednesday tweet, the Office of the DPP said it was conducting further investigations into alleged tax fraud by the two owners of Keroche Breweries, and that “more charges” would likely be pressed against them.
“You honour, we want to proceed with this [anticipatory bail] application since the DPP has continued to threaten my clients with arrests,” Kang’ata told Justice Wakiaga.
The Office of the DPP, through its lawyer, Gikui Gichuhi, told the court that it doesn’t intend or plan to arrest the two, given they were already arraigned and have an active case in court.
Justice Wakiaga ordered that the anticipatory bail application file be closed, since the DPP has assured Tabitha and Joseph that they won’t be rearrested.
“Should the DPP order the arrests of your clients, then you can appear before me for further directions,” Justice Wakiaga told Kang’ata.
Tabitha and Joseph Karanja were, last week, charged with Ksh14.4 billion tax fraud, and were released on a Ksh27 million total cash bail after they pleaded not guilty to the charges before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.
The Karanjas were accused of unlawfully making incorrect statements of their excise duty returns between February 2015 and January 2016, which, in turn, reduced their company’s tax liability by Ksh1.8 billion.
They also faced a second count of making incorrect excise tax for February 2016 and January 2017, amounting to Ksh3.1 billion.
On the third count, the Prosecution, led by senior assistant DPP, Alexander Muteti and Catherine Mwaniki, charged that in February 2017 and January 2018, Keroche’s excise duty books were incorrect to the tune of Ksh3.6 billion.
The charges read that between 2018 and January 2019, another excise tax entry was unlawfully made which exposed the firm to a Ksh2.5 billion liability.