Kenya

Court allows Sonko to seek plea bargain in graft case

Court allows Sonko to seek plea bargain in graft case

Summary

  • The case will proceed before senior principal magistrate Kagure Nyutu on a day-to-day basis without any adjournment.
  • No lawyer will be allowed to withdraw from the case on the hearing date.
  • Lawyers wishing to pull out from the proceedings must inform the court at least three days before.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and other suspects embroiled in the Sh357m corruption case against them can now approach the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to plea bargain, chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti has ruled.

"The accused persons are free to plea bargain with the DPP and report on the progress to the trial court," Mr Ogoti said.

Mr Ogoti, who gave an array of directions, was told by lead defence lawyer Cecil Miller that he has been supplied with all witness statements numbering over 10,000.

However, Mr Miller, who is defending the Governor with lawyer George Kithi, said there was witness redaction as well as issues of legibility of statements.

And at the same time, Mr Kithi informed the magistrate that the third accused has passed away.

A copy of a burial permits was presented in court, along with a letter indicating that Patrick Mwangangi had indeed died.

Giving directions, Mr Ogoti said the case will proceed before senior principal magistrate Kagure Nyutu on a day-to-day basis without any adjournment.

He directed that no lawyer will be allowed to withdraw from the case on the hearing date.

The magistrate directed lawyers wishing to pull out from the proceedings to inform the court three days before.

Defence lawyers Cecil Miller (left) and Jack Bigambo in court on August 26, 2020.

He also directed the DPP to inform the defence within seven days of the witnesses to be called.

The DPP is also to inform the defence of any changes in the witness line-up three days before trial starts.

The case will be mentioned on September 25, 2020 before Ms Nyutu.

Sonko and the other accused persons have denied the charges against them and are out on bond.