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How the rich beat justice

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The arrest and arraignment of high-profile individuals over graft-related charges has often been marked with extensive publicity and fanfare, raising hopes among Kenyans that a lot of effort is being exerted to fight corruption.

Their lawyers will spend considerable effort using their best legal arguments to ensure their clients are released on bail.

After securing freedom, little comes out of the cases, as either they drag on forever, are terminated prematurely, or an acquittal is pronounced by the court “for lack of sufficient evidence”.

Prosecutors’ inability to secure timely convictions, or any at all, has mainly been blamed for the way most corruption cases are being handled, especially by investigators, police and prosecutors.

Some of the challenges range from lack of thorough investigations and overcrowded charge sheets to non-credible witnesses, and failure to comply with the law of evidence.

Law Society of Kenya President Allen Gichuhi says one of the persistent complaints is that where, say, five accused persons are charged with too many counts and prosecutors also line up too many witnesses, such a case ends up being convoluted.

“Some of the suggestions that have been made is the prosecution should sieve and identify the counts they are very confident they have all the evidence and can be concluded faster, then leave out the counts that are shaky, because at the end of the day, what matters is a conviction,” Mr Gichuhi.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has also saddled the criminal registry with many accused persons who arguably ought to have been dealt with separately.

Lawyer Nelson Havi says the trial ends up with a scenario where there are more than 10 accused persons with one charge sheet and about 30 witnesses.

“It is improbable that such a case can be determined within a year,” he says.

Lawyer Harun Ndubi adds that when the DPP opts to charge everybody, two challenges arise. First, there will be no witness.

Secondly, if more than 10 accused persons are brought together in one charge sheet and each is entitled to a lawyer of their choice, there will be too many lawyers seeking to address the court.

It gets complicated managing those lawyers in terms of their submissions, particularly if some of the accused persons have hired the services of more than one lawyer and each wants to cross-examine witnesses and address the court.

“So you find that you have a logistical difficulty because even getting a date that is convenient to all those lawyers is very difficult. That is why some of those cases have been allocated dates of next year. Because lawyers’ diaries are already clogged for this year,” he says.

Equally, it does not make prudent use of the criminal justice system to have 10 lawyers against one prosecutor.

However prepared, such a prosecutor may be outmanned. Many of the people who appear as accused are actually witnesses, and the DPP should target the suspect that bears the highest responsibility for a suspected offence with the others engaged as witnesses.

“There are people who may have played a role but they are very resourceful; they have the information. They should be made state witnesses,” says lawyer Okweh Achiando.

In cases where all the people involved were charged, the State has often called witnesses from related departments but who were not directly involved in the matter and may not be very helpful to the case.

A senior DPP counsel, who shared the prosecution’s perspective on the matter on condition of anonymity, says they are left with no option but to bring many witnesses because they are required under the law to prove the obvious, even matters that are not contested.

“The law requires that we call witnesses to state even that which is not in dispute. This is the reason why we have so many witnesses, and you can see that takes a lot of time,” the DPP counsel said.

Further, looking at those charged with graft, if it is a company, it often comes out that all the accused had a role to play, and proving the charge of conspiracy will only require that all those involved be charged.

“We have been struggling with the issue, whether to prefer charges only to the main players in the offence. However, you find that each had a role to play and they all need to be charged so that we can demonstrate the chain leading to the offence,” the DPP counsel said.

Ever since the corruption division was created, many cases have been brought to court. DPP Noordin Haji has been particular that no one will be spared.

But his efforts are being constrained by the lack of capacity in terms of personnel and time to prepare.

There are approximately 900 State prosecutors against an ever-increasing number of corruption cases and others pending in court.

“Many of these white-collar crimes have very voluminous documents and need thorough review of the documentation for purposes of prosecution. This seldom happens, and often the prosecution ends up adding additional information as they go on with the trial. So they end up prosecuting a case piecemeal,” lawyer Havi said.

The law that clearly stipulates the rights enjoyed by all accused persons has also constrained the DPP’s free will in managing some of the suspects who bear the greatest responsibility, such as having them denied bail to deter others from engaging in graft.

This, in addition to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, has seen courts release suspects on bail irrespective of the nature of the economic crime committed.

by nation.co.ke

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Tony Gachoka calls out Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi in fierce Twitter spat

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Political commentator Tony Gachoka has called out Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi after asking him to stop his little idle talk and help the Jubilee government make Kenya great.

In his response, Gachoka accused Ahmednasir of aiding individuals caught in corruption scandals, as he went ahead to mentioned some of the people the lawyer has represented in corruption related cases before.

“Senior Cousel you aide & abet corruption actors; Ruto fanatics call you a ‘great mind’ YET you feature in every corruption case. AA @ahmednasirlaw you represented Waiguru, Waluke, Deepak Kamani of Angloleasing & Weston – yet you can dare call me ‘idle talk’. A corruption enabler!” tweeted Gachoka.

Tony Gachoka’s words came after Ahmednasir Abdullahi asked him to play his part in nation building by starting a small business and creating jobs for young people, instead being idle.

“Tony…play your part in BUILDING the Nation. Start some BUSINESS, Create JOBS FOR THE YOUTH…and stop this little idle talk…KENYA is great country… HELP JUBILEE make Kenya GREAT…” said SC Ahmednasir.

His words were in response to Mr. Gachoka’s words which claimed that Deputy President William Ruto is no longer a billionaire.

“My fren AA @ahmednasirlaw habari ndugu. Would I be wrong if i stopped calling DP Ruto a billionaire and changed it to millionaire … since am told his cash reserves are drying up pretty fast… Kindly advise. TG Cc. @WehliyeMohamed @DonaldBKipkorir @kipmurkomen,” Gachoka had tweeted.

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Entertainment

Corazon Kwamboka on how she beat disease to conceive

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Corazon Kwamboka is one of the most famous socialites on social media.

The law graduate, however, is not known for her legal work. Her fame arises not only from the scintillating photos she posts on her social media pages showing places she has travelled, but also from the way she presents her body in a way that leaves little to imagination.

This week, she was one of the trending topics on social media after revealing that she is pregnant after several unsuccessful attempts.

She posted to her 636,000 Instagram followers how endometriosis, which she was diagnosed with last year, had dimmed her hopes of ever becoming pregnant.The beauty gushed about how she can’t wait to hold her baby, showing off her baby bump.

In the post addressed to her unborn child, she wrote: “If someone told me January last year that I’d be feeling you kick deep in my belly at the sound of your father’s voice, I’d most definitely think they were deranged! Endometriosis had crippled my dreams of birthing a child. But here we are; a pleasant and welcome surprise. I can’t wait to meet you, hold you and teach you everything I know.”

Endometriosis is a disease where womb tissue grows else-where in a woman’s body, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, around the pelvis and sometimes the lungs, causing extreme pain and sometimes infertility.

Gynaecologist Wanjiku Ndung’u told the Nation recently that if the multiplying cells grow elsewhere apart from the uterus, they cause infl ammation. It be-comes painful for the woman during periods because menses have a restrained fl ow and thus they form cysts that cause fric-tion and hence the pain.The cause of endometriosis is not known, according to Dr Joachim Osur, a sexual medicine expert.

“There are many theories. This also means that the treatment is very difficult because eff orts to suppress its symptoms with drugs also interfere with natural processes of the uterus,” he wrote in the Daily Nation re-cently.

Corazon is rumoured to be dating a popular fi tness enthusiast, Mr Frankie Kiarie.

Before allegedly hooking up with Corazon, Frankie and YouTuber Maureen Waititu enjoyed a five-year relationship that saw them bear two boys. The couple even came up with a thriving YouTube channel ‘Alphabeta’ that saw fans refer to them as the ‘You-Tuber couple’.

Frankie, speaking on their break-up, said that they had irreconcilable differences that made them separate.

“The point of this is to let you know that people say some things to be funny or relevant on Twitter or Instagram, but someone’s day-to-day life is being affected. We are not in a good place yet. I have known Maureen for six years and loved her for every one of those years. That kind of love doesn’t fade. Sometimes things don’t happen the way you expect them to. Our main focus now is the kids and creating a healthy environment for them,” Frankie said.

The two are rumoured to have been keeping the pregnancy a secret for months now, but sources say the lawyer is in her second trimester. In her post, Corazon said she was glad that she chose a man whom she is sure will be a good father to her unborn child because she had seen him raise his other children.

“To the baby’s father; I couldn’t have chosen a better person to do this with. I see the good in you and how you raise your own and I know my child will be loved eternally,” she wrote.Endometriosis affects more than 170 million women across the globe. The most common symptoms are pain and menstrual irregularities.

Effective treatments, such as hormones and excision surgery, are avail-able. Surgically removed cysts typically look like balls of fl esh.

Corazon had earlier revealed that she intends to be a mother in 2020, having struggled with ovarian cysts, which was successfully removed sometime last year through surgery.Corazon, who was admitted to the Bar in 2016, said that her status as a socialite has been a major hindrance to her law practice.

“It made me not practise law. I feel that at some point, I was being misjudged in a way so I pulled back from the law. I didn’t even want to go look for a job be-cause I was scared ‘how will they even give me the job?’ and also it affected a lot of my relationships since I became Corazon Kwamboka the socialite,” she said in an earlier interview.Four years ago, a man claim-ing to be Corazon’s father accused her of breaking their family while urging her to focus on her law career.“My very bright girl should stop this socialite thing and practise law.

She can be an amazing lawyer. I also realise she is over 18 and can’t make career choices for her. I pray for her every day,” said the man, Mr Osmond Sambu Okero.

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Lifestyle

Police questioned on bodies found in car at their station

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A post-mortem examination of the bodies of two children discovered in a wrecked car parked at the Athi River Police station on Wednesday evening is set to be done tomorrow at the Chiromo Funeral Home.

The examination is part of efforts by detectives to piece together the last moments of best friends Alvina Mutheu and Henry Jacktone, whose murders have shocked the country.Alvina, 3, and Jacktone, 4, went missing on June 11, and in a bizarre twist of events their bodies were discovered at the very place their parents reported their disappearance, raising questions on who could have snuck their bodies into a police station, and why.Some of the answers the post-mortem exam could provide include Alvina and Jacktone’s cause and date of death, and whether there was any form of struggle.

Their bodies were decomposed by the time they were discovered on the floor of a car parked at a yard inside Athi River Police Station.

The speed of decomposition, how-ever, varies depending on the environment, and the heat inside a parked car can make a body decompose faster.

“We only found skeletons and it was not easy to tell them apart,” Clifton Odhiambo, who is Jacktone’s father, told the Sunday Nation.

Preliminary investigations show that the Toyota Belta, registration number KCT 510X, in which the two bodies were found was not broken into.

Keys belonging to impounded cars are usually kept inside a safe under the responsibility of officers on duty.

The keys can only be released if the impounded car has been officially released and a note issued to whoever has come to claim the vehicle. It is puzzling how someone accessed a car parked inside a police station, which is a security installation, put the bodies of two children inside a car, and left without anyone noticing.

Detectives have already questioned a number of officers from the station. It is said that a man claiming to be the owner of the car discovered the bodies when he went to collect it on Wednesday.

The car, which is now a scene of crime, has been parked at the station since March 5, when it was involved in a road accident.

Athi River police boss Catherine Ringera on Thursday said the car had nothing inside when it was brought to the station.

“We inspected it and other than the spare wheel and a wheel jack, there was nothing else in it,” she said.Detectives have now summoned the owner of the car plus the man who is said to have come to the station wanting to have it released to him.

A search on the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) system shows that the car is registered to a Ms. Peris Ngugi.Parents of the two children are also set to record fresh statements with the police.

They claim they had received a number of calls from unknown people after their children disappeared, asking them for ransom.None of these claims were reported at the Athi River Police Station, apart from the fact that Alvina and Jacktone had disappeared

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