PRE-TRIAL IN SEPTEMBER

Dams scandal: DPP presents 500,000-page evidence

Special Prosecutor Taib Ali Taib told the court that they had supplied all the accused with evidence in soft copies using DVDs.

In Summary

• The defence strongly opposed the move by the prosecution arguing that they cannot go through 500,000 documents on soft copy rather they should be printed

• Rotich’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi told the court that they will not contribute funds towards the retrieving and photocopying of the documents.

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji during a press briefing in Nairobi on July 25, 2019.
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji during a press briefing in Nairobi on July 25, 2019.
Image: ENOS TECHE

The DPP intends to use over half a million-page documents as exhibits and evidence in the Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal case.

In the case, former Finance CS Henry Rotich and PSs Kamau Thugge and Susan Koech alongside 25 others have been charged with abuse of office in relation to the Sh22 billion dams scandals.

They are also accused of conspiracy to defraud the government, failing to comply with procurement law and irregular procurement of insurance policy through single sourcing.

Speaking in court yesterday Special Prosecutor Taib Ali Taib said that they had supplied all the accused with evidence in soft copies using DVDs.

However, the defence strongly opposed the move by the prosecution arguing that they cannot go through 500,000-page documents in soft copy rather they should be printed.

Rotich’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi told the court that they will not contribute funds towards the retrieving and photocopying of the documents.

Kilukumi said that they will not help the prosecution to do their case adding that according to the law the DPP should furnish them with all the relevant documents at their own cost. 

“Your honour we don’t have money to print out the hard copies that are over half a million pages which will run into millions, let the prosecution give us the hard copies,” he said. 

Lawyer Phillip Murgor representing Thugge also opposed the bid by the prosecution to supply them with soft copies.

Murgor faulted the DPP for ambushing them with the soft copies of hundreds of thousands of documents that they expect them to go through. 

In response, Taib said they don’t have a legal obligation to give them the documents in hard copies and they have chosen to use soft copies as allowed in law.

The DPP intends to call a total of 142 witnesses to testify in the case and the witnesses statements have all been supplied to the defence.

Taib said that all documents had been supplied in electronic format to the defence and some were also issued in hard copy.

He recommended that the defence reads all the documents that are in soft copy instead of crying out to the court.

The defence also raised concerns with the way the documents have been supplied in bulk and not clustered depending with the case.

Lawyer Phillip Nyachoti said that since the prosecution had put all the thousands of documents together it will be hard for them to know which document belongs to which file because there are four files in the case.

In a bid to stop the back and forth between the prosecution and the defence, chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed the parties to appear in court on August 26 to sort out issues among them.

They will appear before the court on September 18 for pre-trial.

Meanwhile, CMC di Ravena director Paolo Pocelli is yet to appear in court to answer to the charges even after the court issued warrants of arrest against him.