BY SAM ALFAN.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua has lost the first round in his persuit to stop graft claims against him.
He had lodged an application at the High Court questioning claims by EACC that he received Sh12.5 billion from three different bank accounts in a period of seven years.
High Court Anti-Corruption Judge Esther Maina dismissed the request by the MP to cross-examine EACC investigator saying he has not given any special circumstances that would require the court to allow the request.
“The application does not disclose any special circumstances to warrant the cross-examination sought. The application is therefore dismissed,” he said.
Gachagua through lawyer Kioko Kilukumi argued that the investigating officer from Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) had given conflicting information, especially the money he allegedly received within the seven year period.
He said the information should be clarified before the case goes to hearing.
“No judge can make a decision based on conflicting affidavits. We need to cross-examine the investigator and in the process, the court will have a chance to observe his demeanor and credibility of the witness,” he submitted through his lawyer Kioko Kilukumi.
The agency through state counsel opposed the application saying there was no conflicting information and it is the court to make a determination based on what has been supplied.
“We are saying certain amounts in the accounts are proceeds of crime but they are saying that’s not the case. Let the court decide,” he submitted.
ARA further told the court that the case can be determined using affidavits filed in court and Gachagua has responded to claims made by ARA.
The agency said Gachagua’s defence was an afterthought and baseless collection of invented documents meant to hide the source of the funds.
In the matter, ARA wants Sh200 million belonging to the legislator , which was frozen in January, forfeited to the government arguing that the money is proceeds of crime.