BY SAM ALFAN.
The High Court has suspended the trail of suspects implicated in the Sh3.5 billion Anglo leasing pending the hearing of an application filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Justice Jessie Lesit stayed the proceedings before trial Magistrate Martha Mutuku, who had earlier disallowed the prosecution to introduce additional evidence in the case.
“The order of stay of the proceedings in ACC NO. 4 of 2015 Rep-vs David Mwiraria and six others pending hearing and determination of the application for revision is hereby granted,” Lesiit ruled.
The DPP Noordin Haji filed application after he was denied the chance to introduce crucial evidence.
Mutuku had dismissed the application filed by Senior Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku, who sought to call four more witnesses.
In the case former PSs Joseph Magari, Dave Mwangi and David Onyonka and businessmen Deepak and Rashmi Kamani, together with their father Rasmi Chamanlal have denied conspiring to defraud the Government over Sh 3.5 billion.
Prosecution had applied to have an officer identified as Kahiga from EACC, document examiner Jacob Prior, Samuel Kariuki from immigration department and Easther B. James from postal corporation testify in the trial. Tw of them were already in court but the magistrate declined the application saying it was too late in the day.
The prosecution had earlier been supplied with the witness statements and the documents the said witnesses to rely on which they acknowledged by signing an inventory.
Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi for Deepak Kamani’s had opposed the application arguing that calling more witnesses would delay the matter and infringe on the accused persons right to a fair trial.
The defence further argued that since they were expecting the investigating officer and they had crystallized their defence on documents earlier supplied.
Prosecution responded saying they had disclosed the evidence in compliance with the law and prosecution case was still open after 45 witnesses testified.
“The defence have right to cross examined the intended witnesses and if they were at to seek adjournment and not object to calling of witness,” said Mutuku.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) deputy director Julius Muraya who gave evidence in the case told the court that he and his colleague interviewed Brirkenfeld who had been said to be a director of Infotalent Ltd, a company awarded a tender contract by Kenya Government. He said the businessman told the court that the signatures said to be his were forged and that he has never been a director that company.
Led in his evidence in chief by Mr Mutuku, Muraya who is also the head of the Mutual legal Unit told the court that they interviewed Birkenfeld by showing him a proposal by Infotalent systems a letter dated August 22,2003 purportedly written and signed by him.
He said that Brirkenfeld denied the signature, saying it is a forgery. Muraya said Brirkenfeld also denied having talked to or corresponded with any Kenyan Government officials over Infotalent contract.
The witness had and one John Kiilu traveled to Miami in Florida state where they conducted interview with Birkenfeld on June 11, 2015 in his lawyer’s office.
He said this was after the Attorney General made a request for mutual legal assistance to the Government of the United States of America in respect of Birkenfeld and Infotalent system Ltd.
Muraya said the request related to investigations into a contract for the procurement of a law and order system for the Kenya police known as “Project E-Cops” single sourced to Infotalent Ltd at a price of Euros 59,688,250 which contract was purportedly signed by Brirkenfeld in his capacity as a director.
He said that Birkenfeld through the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) indicated that he was willing to be interviews but in the presence of his advocate Gerald Greenberg at Miami in Florida State.
The court heard that one Mario Garcia Tariche, a special Agent with the FBI was tasked to oversee the interview.
“Owing to the fact that the denial tended to contradict contract which bore the signature of Birkenfeld, on February 11, 2015, the commission made a request for mutual legal assistance to the Government of US to interview him in respect of his signature and the pre-contractual correspondence allegedly emanating from the office of managing director Ifotalent systems Ltd and Infotalent Ltd in Switzerland,” said Muraya.