BY SAM ALFAN.
Four officials of Garissa county facing charges together with Governor Ali Korane over the alleged loss of Sh233 million have suffered a major blow after the High Court dismissed a petition to quash their trial.
Justice Esther Maina dismissed the petition by Garissa municipal board manager Abdi Bulle, chief of finance Ibrahim Nur Shurie, head of treasury Mohamed Abdullahi and accounting head Ahmed Aden. The officials wanted the court to terminate their ongoing graft case.
“I am not persuaded that their prosecution is an abuse of the court process. The petitioners shall have an opportunity to adduce the evidence or facts and issues of law which they raised in this court at the trial court and should they be convicted and they are aggrieved they have recourse to this court on appeal,” the Judge said.
In a 31 page judgement, Justice Maina said that the officials did not place any evidence before her showing that there was improper motive in charging them or that they were victimized or discriminated against, during the investigations or in the prosecution.
“In other words I find no evidence of mala fides in bringing the charges against them that would warrant me to interfere with the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision to charge,” said the judge.
The Anti-Corruption court judge further said that the trial court will be the proper tribunal to determine the issue the officials raised.
She said upon hearing and evaluating the evidence from both sides, the petitioners failed to prove that the charges against were actuated by an ulterior motive or by a motive other than that in the public interest.
Through lawyer Katwa Kigen, the officials urged the High Court to declare that the fair trial is not possible, that they have no case to answer or a culpable criminal case against them.
They argued that the DPP misapprehended the law since the charges were motivated by extra-judicious or ulterior motives. “In the borrowing and refunding monies from the account set out into count three to eight over misappropriation of public funds and in acting in manifest ultimate good faith in the face of the facts and circumstances of this case, ” officials told the court.
They are facing charges of conspiracy over misappropriation of public funds according to the charge sheet dated September 14, 2020.