WIN FOR BUSINESSMAN HUMPHREY KARIUKI AS COURT QUASHES CHARGES.

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Businessman Humphrey Kariuki with his lawyer Cecil Miller leaving Milimani law courts./PHOTO BY S.A.N

DPP cannot donate duties to KRA, court rules.

BY SAM ALFAN.

The KRA has lost a Sh17 billion claim against business man Humphrey Kariuki over alleged tax evasion.

High Court Judge Anthony Mrima also nullified a gazette notice by the DPP appointing prosecutors from KRA to handle the matter.

“Whereas KRA can investigate any offence relating to violation of tax laws, it cannot prosecute such matters in Court,” ruled the judge.

He said it was illegal for KRA officers to undertake duties reserved for the DPP’s office.

The DPP too does not have any lawful mandate to delegate his authority to KRA officers.

Kariuki had been charged together with directors of Wines of the World (WOW) and African Spirits ltd including Peter Njenga, Robert Thinji Mureithi, Eric Mulwa Nzomba and Kefa Gakure.

Kariuki and his co-accused faced a charge of being in possession of uncustomed goods where the prosecution alleged that he was holding 80 drums of 250 litres each of ethanol valued at Sh7,402,958 without paying tax. 

They had also been charged with omitted from the VAT returns of Africa Spirits Limited an amount of Sh2.1 billion and another count of omitting from the return of excise of Sh5.9 billion.

Through lawyer Cecil Miller, Kariuki and his co-accused argued that the case seeking to recover Sh17 billion from them was malicious, unconstitutional and without any legal backing because tax assessment issued to the African Spirits after a comprehensive audit was Sh1 billion.

Miller argued that a charge sheet originating from the police instead of the DPP was illegal.

In the matter, the charge sheet was signed the officer in charge of Muthaiga Police Station.

The DPP defended the decision to charge stating that the charge sheet was brought by the police upon multi-agency investigations being done and were subsequently registered by the DCI and upon reviewing the investigations, he preferred the charges.

Justice Mrima said in the decision that investigations and prosecution cannot be conducted by the same entity regardless of whether the prosecution is undertaken by the DPP or by any other entity.

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