Suspects held that they had sought permission through lawyer Ombeta to be exempted from meetings
Court to rule once Ombeta is heard
Two suspects among those accused of mimicking President Uhuru Kenyatta to defraud Sameer Africa Group boss Naushad Merali risk forfeiting bail.
Joseph Waswa and Duncan Muchai failed to appear before an investigator. The investigating officer said the accused acted in contempt of court by intentionally snubbing them.
The two are among seven people accused of pretending to be in a position to sell to Sameer Africa Group a parcel LR No.10090/118 in Milimani, Nairobi. They denied the charges and were released on Sh100,000 bail each on conditions they would be reporting to the investigating officer for three weeks.
The prosecution said they failed to comply. But the accused held that they had sought permission to be exempted from the meetings.
The prosecution, through counsel Edwin Okello, presented a complaint during yesterday's mention before Milimani chief magistrate Francis Andayi. Okello said the two suspects had missed court the whole of last week.
But Wasswa and Muchai maintained that they were rightfully away after they were granted permission through their lawyer Cliff Ombeta.
They told the court they accompanied Ombeta to the investigating officer, where the advocate requested they be exempted from appearing before the DCI.
The prosecution dismissed the claim as a lie, asserting that when the lawyer sought permission, he was referred to the court.
"The court declined to vary the order,” Okello said.
Andayi said the court will only rule on the issue after determining who was lying to the court — between the investigator and the accused’s lawyer.
“The court will wait to hear from Mr Ombeta who is away today to be able to establish the truth. Such issues must be taken seriously,” he said.
The other accused are Isaac Wajekeche, William Simiyu, David Luganya, Gilbert Kirunja, and Anthony Wafula. They were also charged with obtaining Sh10 million from Akif Hamid Butt, the finance director of Sameer Africa.