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AVERTING UNDUE DELAY

DPP wins as court allows scanned evidence in NHIF fraud case

Anti-Corruption Court directed part of the exhibit in the case be served electronically to avoid undue delay of the case

In Summary

• Former NHIF bosses and the directors of Webtribe Ltd were granted Sh3 million bond or Sh2 million bail

• A magistrate's court had ordered the ODPP to supply the accused persons with hard-copy evidence

DPP Noording Haji
DPP Noording Haji
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday got a reprieve after a judge allowed his office to serve soft copies of 10,000 documents forming part of the evidence in the Sh1 billion fraud case against former NHIF bosses.

The case is against former CEO Geoffrey Mwangi, former finance manager Simon Kirgotty and directors of the Web Tribe company. Twenty people were charged.

The former NHIF bosses and the directors of Webtribe Ltd were granted Sh3 million bond or Sh2 million bail.

The Anti-Corruption Court judge Mumbi Ngugi directed part of the exhibit in the case be served electronically to avoid undue delay of the case.

“In the circumstances of this case, and I believe the respondents recognise this, ‘reasonable access’ to evidence will be best served by the supply of electronic documents in the case of the bank statements,” she said.

“This is also the format in which the prosecution indicates they were retrieved in, and the demands of expedition and access to justice without undue delay will be best served by supplying the documents, said to be around 10,000 in number, in electronic format, rather than in bulky paper form.”

The documents to be supplied electronically include bank statements and an inventory of the bank statements. Minutes of the NHIF Board will be supplied in hard copy.

The ruling arose out of an application filed by the Office of the DPP on April 5. Noordin Haji appealed against a decision by a magistrate's court to have them supply the accused persons with hard-copy evidence, rather than scanned copies.

The magistrate's court rejected the use of technology in conducting a trial where evidence is bulky.