TRIAL OF GARISSA GOVERNOR AND CO-ACCUSED HITS A SNAG.

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Garissa Governor Ali Korane before Milimani Anti-corruption Court in during the hearing of sh233 million graft case.Hearing to proceed on April 4,2022./PHOTO BY S.A.N.

BY SAM ALFAN.

The hearing of a Sh233 million graft case against Garissa Governor Ali Korane and four county executives failed to proceed on Monday due to absence of trial magistrate.

The trial was scheduled for hearing for four days but it was pushed to April 4 because trial magistrate Elizabeth Juma was not available.

He was ordered to return his passport in court by end of business today.

The hearing was resuming after Korane’s co-accused failed to stop the trial when their petition was dismissed by the High Court two weeks ago.

Justice Esther Maina dismissed the petition by the four including 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.

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.

Korane is charged together with the county officials with eight counts of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, failure to comply with procurement law relating to management of public funds and misappropriation of public funds.

They are alleged to have conspired to commit an economic crime namely mismanagement of public funds allocated to county government of Garissa as a conditional grant for the Kenya Urban support Programme amounting to Sh233,506,000.

The charges stated that they mismanaged public funds allocated to the County Government of Garissa as a conditional grant for the KUSP, an offence they allegedly committed between February 25, 2019 and September 30, 2019 within Garissa County.

The county officials are out on a cash bail.

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