BY SAM ALFAN.
Kenya sought international mutual legal assistance over Anglo leasing case investigations, court heard on Monday.
Former Anti-corruption boss and former court appeal Judge Aron Ringera told the trial court that during his tenure he wrote to United State of America, Switzerland, United Kingdom and The Netherlands seeking legal assistance to investigate the international aspect of the Anglo leasing fiasco.
He told the court he gave power of attorney to Dr Marc Henzelin of Switzerland Lalive law firm which was to file criminal complaints in Switzerland on behalf of Kenya.
The retired Judge testified that the high court decision had initially ruled EACC had no jurisdiction to seek international legal assistance and this paralyzed all the overseas investigations carried by the commission.
“I didn’t receive mutual legal assistance from various legal assistance teams despite willingness by various authorities after The High Court in Kenya ruled EACC had no authority to seek mutual legal assistance and if it has received any it should not be used” Ringera told the court.
The former Anti-corruption boss said attorney general who was the prosecutor directed the commission not to forward any files to him until they completed the overseas investigations.
However he told the court before his exit from the commission he received one file and a disc from Swiss authorities which they from the AG.
Asked whether he was aware of the content in the file and the disc, he said he didn’t open or read them since there was high court decision that was pending appeal but marked them as “INVESTIGATION PENDING THE APPEAL”.
The retired judge told the court he did not complete any investigation during his tenure and no one could have completed since there was high court ruling that barred them to seek international legal assistance.
“I didn’t complete investigation on any file and no one could complete it from anywhere in the world due to high court challenges” said the retired judge.
Business mogul Deepak Kamani, his father Chamanlal Kamani and Brother Rashmi Kamani were charged with five counts of conspiracy to commit an economic crime and fraudulent acquisition of public resources totalling Sh10.4 billion for services not provided.
The offences, committed between July 2003 and June 2004 also enlist three companies said to have benefited from huge payments to Anglo Leasing contracts designed to provide modernized security surveillance systems for the police force.
The charges were a culmination of long running investigations and run-ins between the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Kamani brothers which led to several cases at the High Court.
In the first charge, Deepak, Rashmi and Chamanlal were conspiring with senior government officials to defraud the public of Sh4 billion.
“Between October 2003 and April 2004 in Nairobi, you conspired with others not before court to commit an economic crime by engaging in a scheme to defraud the government Euros 40 million (Sh4 billion) through a contract for modernization of police security equipment and accessories project,” read the charge.
On April 14, 2004, the three alongside Apex Finance Corporation were said to have acquired a further Euros 1.2 million (Sh121.2 million) from the Ministry of Finance on the pretext that they were able to provide the security equipment for the police service.
The second file had Deepak, Rashmi and Infotalent Ltd being charged with conspiring to steal over Sh6 billion through an agreement for computerization of security systems for the Kenya police through a project code named E-Cops.
In the other count, Deepak, Rashmi and Infotalent Ltd were said to have fraudulently received on January 12, 2004, Euros 1.8 million (Sh180.5 million) into the company account held with HSBC Republic Bank of Switzerland without delivery of financing services.
The final account alleged that they received Euros 3.5 million (Sh353.5 million) into their bank account in Switzerland without delivery of services.
They all denied the charges with Deepak and Rashmi being released on a cash bail of Sh4 million each while their father was released on a cash bail of Sh2 million.
Hearing proceeds tomorrow.