Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has accused Director of Public Prosecution of failing to make full disclosure of documentary evidence and witness statements that will be used against him in the Sh24.1 million graft case.
His lawyers, Cecil Miller and George Kithi, yesterday protested that the prosecution side had supplied them with edited and illegible statements in the case involving money laundering, conflict of interest and acquisition of proceeds of crime.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko heard that the prosecutors had redacted the witness statements to a point where nothing substantial had been left to enable the defence prepare for the trial.
The statements are in respect of eight witnesses who are under protection and will testify in camera for their own safety and due to the sensitivity of the case.
“The documents are illegible and they (DPP) have removed almost everything. The documents are voluminous and we need time to verify them,” said lawyer Kithi while describing the documents furnished by prosecutors as unreliable.
With the illegible and redacted documents, the lawyers said they cannot be able to make a proper defence for their clients who include the governor and business people. The lawyers said after the verification of documents they we will be ready for hearing.
The court heard that the essence of having the prosecutors and the defence exchange documents is to afford the accused person a fair trial. Further, that if a witness statement is fully redacted it is of little use to the defence.
The lawyers told the court that the prosecution has not satisfactorily complied with the orders to furnish and disclose evidence.
In response, the prosecutors accused the defence of mischief by delaying the case saying the pre-trial conference has taken too long to be concluded because of the defence lawyers.
The court heard that the issues of redaction and legibility are trial matters.
The accused answered to the 17 charges in February, this year following an amendment of the charge sheet by the DPP.
In the case, governor Sonko is charged alongside Mr Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi, ROG Security Limited and Anthony Ombok alias Jamal.
The four are said to have jointly conspired to commit an offence of corruption, dealing with suspect property in the sum of over Sh14 million in respect of an equipment contract.
The governor is separately charged with having a conflict of interest by acquiring an indirect private interest in contracts issued by the county government.
A tender on hiring of heavy equipment was was issued to Yiro enterprises and the governor received Sh8.4 million at his five accounts at Equity bank from Mr Odhiambo trading as Yiro enterprises through Rog Security Limited.
Mr Sonko and Mr Ombok are also accused of receiving Sh14.1 million from Mr Odhiambo being a benefit in respect of a contract on hiring of the heavy equipment.
They are said to have committed the offences on December 27 and December 28, 2018 in Nairobi.
The case will be mentioned on Monday for verification of the documents while the hearing is scheduled to start on September 21.
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