Investigations continue on railway tickets scandal
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.