BY PHOEBE WANJOHI.
Former Kenya Pipeline Company managing Director Shem Ochuodho and a director of Triple A Capital have lost their bid to block Prosecution from using several bank statements.
This is after Anti-corruption Court allowed Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to use several Standard Chartered Bank statements against Ochuodho and Janice Theresia Wanjiku Kiarie alias Terry Wijenje.
The bank statements shows the transactions between the lender, Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and a company at the centre of Sh1.6 billion graft case involving former KPC boss Shem Ochuodho.
Trial court Magistrate Douglas Ogoti allowed a prosecution witness to table bank documents in the case despite opposition from the Ochuodho and a director of Triple A Capital, who are accused of defrauding KPC the millions.
Magistrate Ogoti ruled that no evidence should be left out in the case which has been pending in court for over 10 years and the contested documents meet the threshold of the evidence act.
“I hereby allow the documents marked by the Prosecution witnesses (Standard Chartered Bank legal advisor David Mwisaka) to be adduced as exhibits in the case,” ordered Ogoti.
In 2019 the court had summoned the witness- Mwasika- who was the legal advisor of the bank after the bank records produced in court were said to be destroyed adding that they have a data retention policy and original documents can only be retained for seven years then destroyed.
He however sought for time to be allowed to go to their historical records to confirm if the bank had the documents. He later came and produced a list of 26 documents related to the case while giving his testimony to be used as evidence.
The defence team had also opposed the use of photocopies, saying it will only accept original copies in the matter.
In the graft case, Ochuodho is charged alongside the chairman of the board directors of KPC and Directors of Triple A Capital Limited, Janice Theresia Wanjiku Kiarie alias Terry Wijenje.
Prosecution alleges that on diverse dates between May 2003 and July 2004 in Nairobi Ochuodho jointly with other board member’s conspired to defraud KPC of Sh 827, 564, 608,20.
They are accused of entering into a refinancing arrangement which required KPC to pay Triple A Capital Limited Credit charges amounting to Kshs, 827, 564,608,20 on account of Triple Capital Limited paying KPC’s international Creditors amounts owed by KPC, whereas Triple A Capital Limited had no money to pay the said creditors.
Ochuodho is also accused of fraudulently instructing Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya to pay Triple A Capital limited Sh1,250,577, 549 from KPC’s account purporting it to be a refund on account of Triple A Capital limited having paid a similar sum to KPC’s International Creditor, Export Development Canada (EDC) yet no such payment had been made by Triple A Capital limited and on behalf of KPC to EDC.
He is further accused on December 28, 2003 jointly fraudulently instructed the lender to pay Triple A Capital limited Sh397, 699,893 from KPC’s account purporting it to be refund on Triple A Capital limited.
The former MD also charged with misuse of public office by improperly conferring a benefit of Sh 99,045,774 on Triple A Capital by signing a Deed of assignment of debt on behalf of Kenya Pipeline Company limited.
Triple A Directors and the firm are facing a charge of fraudulent acquisition of public property.
They are accused on December 31, 2003 in Nairobi being Directors of Triple A Company Limited, jointly fraudulently acquired a public property Sh 1,691,791 ,968 by purporting that they had paid a debts owed by KPC to its creditors , Export Development Canada (EDC) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) under a refinance agreement, yet no such payment had been made by Triple A Capital limited on behalf of KPC to EDC and JBIC.
The accused persons are each out on a cash bail of Sh 2 million.