Swazuri faces 7 more days in cells awaiting bail verdict

Economy

Swazuri faces 7 more days in cells awaiting bail verdict

Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri will have to wait for another seven days to know whether a judge will review his bail terms downwards.

After hearing arguments from all parties Thursday, Justice Mumbi Ngugi said she will give her ruling on May 2, meaning Prof Swazuri will have spent 14 days in the police cells, having been arrested for fraud on April 17.

Prof Swazuri and four others moved to the High Court seeking a review of the Sh12 million cash bail granted to them by the trial magistrate. They argued through their lawyers that the amount imposed by chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi was punitive and unreasonably high.

Other accused persons who were released on cash bail of Sh12 million are former commissioner Emma Njogu, former NLC chief executive officer Tom Aziz Chavangi, Dr Salome Munubi, who was a director valuation and taxation, Mr Francis Mugo, the director of finance and administration at NLC and a lawyer Catherine Wanjiru Chege.

The accused persons argued that the magistrate never justified why he gave the bail terms, which they said is unjust as their presumption of the innocence cannot be taken away from them.

But in reply, Director of Public Prosecutions through state counsel Vincent Monda urged the court to enhance the bail terms or dismiss the application.

The charge sheet states that they conspired to commit corruption through fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for the alleged compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado Carriers on behalf of Kenya National Highways Authority.

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