In­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue on rail­way tick­ets scan­dal

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW - BY PHILIP MUYANGA

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into a sus­pected mul­ti­mil­lion shillings Stan­dard Gauge Rail­ways tick­et­ing scam are con­tin­u­ing a week af­ter the ex­clu­sive rev­e­la­tions.

This came as three Chi­nese ar­rested and charged with giv­ing a Sh900,000 bribe to de­tec­tives as an in­duce­ment to in­flu­ence in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­main in cus­tody af­ter they were de­nied bail on Fri­day.

Mom­basa Chief Mag­is­trate Julius Nang'ea de­clined to re­lease Mr Li Gen, Li Xiaowu and Sun Xin on bond say­ing that the court was sat­is­fied with the rea­sons by the pros­e­cu­tion to deny them bond.

“The court has not been told the spe­cific ad­dress, with­out demon­stra­tion that the ac­cused have a rea­son­able fixed abode, it would not be a guar­an­tee that they will at­tend court,” said Mr Nang'ea in his rul­ing.

Mr Nang'ea said ev­ery­one has a right to be re­leased on bond but the pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion is whether the ac­cused upon re­lease will at­tend court.

The sus­pects were charged with of­fer­ing a Sh500,000 bribe to in­spec­tor An­drew Warui and a team of his in­ves­ti­ga­tors as an in­duce­ment to in­flu­ence an on­go­ing crim­i­nal probe.

They also jointly faced another charge of of­fer­ing Sh200,000 bribe to the po­lice. Mr Xiaowu was also charged with giv­ing Mr Warui Sh200,000 bribe.

The sus­pects: a trans­port man­ager, a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer and a trans­la­tor will re­main in cus­tody un­til De­cem­ber 10 when the case will be men­tioned. The court heard that the of­fences were com­mit­ted on di­verse dates be­tween Novem­ber 22 and 23.

Through pros­e­cu­tors Ren­son In­gonga and Jami Yam­ina, the pros­e­cu­tion op­posed the re­lease of the ac­cused say­ing that they are a flight risk.

Mr In­gonga ar­gued that the ac­cused are for­eign­ers who work at the SGR Mom­basa ter­mi­nus and have no fixed abode.

Ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tors, if the ac­cused leave the juris­dic­tion of the court, they would not come back since there is no treaty be­tween Kenya and China that would see them brought back to face trial.

“The fears of the ac­cused be­ing a flight risk is mer­ited, where mu­tual le­gal as­sis­tance is not agreed upon be­tween Kenya and China, the is­sue of flight risk be con­sid­ered se­ri­ously,” said Mr In­gonga.

Mr Yam­ina urged the court to take no­tice that SGR is a flag­ship project an­chored on the Vi­sion 2030 plat­form which has im­mense pub­lic in­ter­est.

“It could be prej­u­di­cial at this stage to re­lease the ac­cused on bail,” said Mr Yam­ina.

Through lawyer Nel­son Si­tonik, the ac­cused sought to be re­leased on bond say­ing they will abide by all the con­di­tions set by the court.

Mr Si­tonik fur­ther said that the ac­cused have no in­ten­tion of jump­ing bail.

“They re­side in the ter­mi­nus, within the ter­mi­nus, there is a po­lice sta­tion, they are will­ing to be re­port­ing to the OCS at the ter­mi­nus daily,” said Mr Si­tonik adding that the ac­cused have no in­ten­tion of in­ter­fer­ing with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

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