Kenya

Waluke, Wakhungu bail hearing aborts

Waluke, Wakhungu bail hearing aborts

Summary

  • The duo wants to be released on bail pending hearing and determination of an appeal against their sentence and conviction in the Sh297 million maize theft at the NCPB.
  • Justice John Onyiego said the Milimani court station was out of bounds as it was closed for a fumigation exercise that was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

Hearing of a bail application by Sirisia MP John Waluke and his business partner Grace Wakhungu aborted for the second time Wednesday.

The judge said he was unable to get the case file at the Milimani Law Courts.

The duo wants to be released on bail pending hearing and determination of an appeal against their sentence and conviction in the Sh297 million maize theft at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

Justice John Onyiego said the Milimani court station was out of bounds as it was closed for a fumigation exercise that was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.

His assistant and the Judiciary ICT team were also unable to get either the physical and electronic file.

He told the six lawyers of the two convicts and the three State counsels representing the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that he did not have any of the documents they had filed in relation to the bail application.

“The chief registrar told me the courts will be fumigated for two days and nobody is supposed to be there. The ICT team was also unable to get the electronic file,” he said during the virtual session.

Waluke and Wakhungu followed the proceedings virtually from prison.

The hearing of the bail application was adjourned to Monday at noon with Justice Onyiego saying he will try to get the file before then.

While adjourning the matter, the judge also ordered for consolidation of both Waluke and Wakhungu’s bail applications since they were jointly charged at the lower court and the judgement was in one file.

The MP is serving a 34-year sentence at Kamiti Maximum Prison while his co-convict Wakhungu, 80, is at the Lang’ata Women Prison serving a 39-year sentence after they were unable to raise a combined fine of over Sh2 billion.

Mr Waluke’s lawyers including Elijah Ongoya, Evans Ondieki and Sam Nyaberi will argue the bail application within 30 minutes.

Later, Ms Wakhungu’s team led by Senior Counsel Paul Muite, Evans Monari and Duncan Okubasu was allocated 40 minutes.

Ms Wakhungu was convicted for five criminal counts while Mr Waluke was convicted for three in the maize theft case.

The DPP, being represented by State led by Alexander Muteti, Mercy Gateru and a Ms Kimiru will respond to the application within 40 minutes.

The DPP has already opposed their release on bail saying the two convicts have not raised any serious grounds to warrant the grant of bond or bail pending appeal.

He urged the High Court not to disrupt the sentences imposed by the trial court.