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Friday, August 18, 2017

Raila to query Waiguru in defamation suit

Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has six weeks to serve former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru with a list of interrogatory questions in a defamation suit arising out of the Sh791 million scandal at the National Youth Service.

It was later found that more than Sh1.6 billion was lost at the NYS.

Interrogatories are written questions sent to a party from his or her adversary to clarify the facts and issues for trial.

The defamation suit against Raila came up for directions before High Court senior deputy registrar Temba Sitati who directed him to serve Waiguru with the questions before April 4.

The answers that she will provide may be used as evidence in the case.

The opposition leader will now file a list of questions relevant to the suit, which he wants Waiguru to answer under oath to assist him in his defence.

“Once served with the questions, a party then decides whether to answer the questions or not. Based on the information given, a party can also decide whether to concede or defend the case,” Sitati said.

Waiguru sued Raila on September 29, 2015, saying he had “recklessly tarnished” her name in an address to the press at his office on July 17, 2015.

“I am willing to indulge the defendant (Raila) since the chief Justice has directed that the matter be given hearing dates and not stood over generally. We will give them at most 60 days,” her lawyer Wanjiru Ngige said yesterday.

The former CS wants Raila found liable, saying his assertions that she was aware of the NYS theft meant that she used her position in the government to engage in corruption. “He portrayed me as a woman of low moral standing, who is involved in unethical and professional misconduct,” she said.

Last year, Raila told court that he wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to testify as his key witness against Waiguru.

He said he intends to call Uhuru as a crucial witness whose testimony is necessary to determine the real issues.

But Uhuru is unlikely to show up as he enjoys immunity against civil proceedings as the head of state.

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