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June 25, 2018

Court urged to stop DPP from charging 2 accused in Sh1.6bn Chase Bank fraud case

A Nairobi court yesterday was urged to reject an attempt by the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge two directors of a private company with conspiring to defraud Chase Bank of more than Sh1.6 billion.

Defence lawyer Cecil Miller also asked senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku to reject another charge of stealing more than Sh58.8 million. His clients Amiran Khan and Mohamed Khan have yet to plead to the charges. Miller told the court the counts against his clients are defective, “as the charge doesn’t disclose any offence in law”.

He said the charge in count eight, which says Amiran and Mohamed stole USD588 (Sh58.8 million) property of Chase Bank Ltd are defective “because the alleged money was taken as a loan, which his clients have been repaying as per the agreement with the bank”.

Amiran and Mohamed — directors of Golden Azure Limited — are jointly charged alongside former Chase Bank chairman Zafrullah Khan and three former senior managers — former Group MD Duncan Gichui, former general manager James Mwenja (credit) and financial general Makaros Agumbi. The last four have denied the charge and are out on a Sh2 million cash bail each.

Another two — former Chase Bank managers Abdul Ahmed and Ghanrish Oma, who have not pleaded to the same charges — are expected to appear in court on September 29 to take plea.

Miller said his clients Amiran and Mohamed are being discriminated against by the prosecution because they are related to the first accused Zafrulla Khan — former chairman of Chase Bank.  He said Mohamed is Zafrullah’s brother and Amiran is his sister-in-law.

Miller added that his clients want the court to refer their case to a constitutional court, where they will address issues relating to the constitutional rights of individuals.

But the prosecution, led by senior state counsel James Warui, opposed the application. It said the charges are properly drafted.

Warui urged the magistrate to dismiss the application and order the accused to take a plea. He said the defence can challenge the charges at the Constitutional Court or Review Court after pleading.

The magistrate adjourned the case until October 3, when she will deliver a ruling over the application.


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