War on graft:Court declines to suspend scrutiny of securities for NYS scandal suspects

NYS suspects in a past court session.11 of them have since been set free-FILE IMAGE

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,22ND JUNE 2018-The national youth service scandal suspects can now process their bail after the Anti Corruption Court in Nairobi declined a request by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have them remain in custody while their security is being scrutinized.

While delivering the ruling on Friday morning, Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi stated it is up to the court to verify securities deposited that the process should continue as denying them the right to bail would be tantamount to contempt of High Court that granted them bail.

“In my view, the matter can still be addressed but through a different approach that does not impose a general restriction on the accused right to bail that the High Court has granted,” he stated.

He further urged the DPP to bring any evidence he may have on any irregularities in the bond or bail presented to the court.

“In examining all security tendered, it is the duty of the court to ensure any security or surety offered is free from any risk arising from any probable illegality, loss or prolonged expense should it become necessary to realize the security. However, It is important to underscored the fact that this can only apply to specific property under consideration and cannot be therefore generalized,” he said.

The DPP had asked the court to suspend the vetting process of securities posted on grounds that some are suspect and are subject to investigations by the Assets Recovery Authority.

Noting that concerns raised by the DPP are legitimate, the Magistrate however said complying with the same “will be treading on a dangerous ground of contempt of court.”

He said it cannot suspend the verification process until conditions by the DPP are met because that is not part of the standard procedure.

“The invitation by the chief prosecutor must be declined as the procedural step introduced midway is arbitrary. ”

Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo and the National Youth Service Director General Richard Ndubai with other suspects are  among 46 suspects granted bonds of up to Sh8 million to secure their release until their case is heard and determined.

 

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