DPP’s application to withdraw graft case against ex-Kenya Pipeline MD denied

A Milimani court has refused to dismiss corruption charges against former Kenya Pipeline Company managing director Charles Tanui as requested by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Senior Principal Magistrate Victor Wakhumile dismissed the DPP’s application, saying the public interest demanded that the case be taken to its logical conclusion.

“The power to withdraw cases is not absolute but must be exercised judiciously with due regard to the public interest,” the judge ruled.

The anti-corruption magistrate said prosecutorial powers should be exercised judiciously with regard to the public interest and what the DPP was trying to do by seeking to terminate the case at the end of the trial could be achieved after a full hearing.

The DPP, through lead prosecutor Jeremiah Walusala, sought to close the case on the basis that a review of the evidence and documents showed that justice would be served by closing the case.

The prosecution had called 25 of the 26 witnesses on the stand and the only remaining witness was an Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) official who investigated the matter.

“Having considered the evidence in relation to the said letters, the DPP has decided that it is not tenable to proceed with the case against the accused without causing injustice,” said Jeremiah Walusala, a lead prosecutor.

The EACC had opposed the withdrawal of the case.

The former KPC chief executive officer, together with two company officials, had been charged with abuse of office and procurement irregularities.

He, together with former Chief Manager (Technical) Elias Maina Karumi and former Chief Electrical Engineer Josephat Sirma, denied the charges in 2020.

The charges alleged that they failed to comply with procurement laws by authorising the payment of €261,070 (about Sh40.3 million) to Redline Limited for three auto transformers on 18 February 2014.

The charges alleged that he failed to comply with procurement laws by authorising payment of Euro 261,070 (about Sh40.3 million) to Redline ltd for three auto transformers on February 18, 2014.

The charges stated that on February 18, 2014 at KPC’s offices in the Industrial Area, Mr Tanui conferred a benefit on Redline ltd by authorising payment of Euros 8695 (Sh1.3 million) for a tender for the installation and commissioning of autotransformers for Line 2 Station.

Mr Sirma was accused of signing a Material Arrival Advice Note, without lawful authority, purporting it to be genuine, certifying that the works in respect of the tender issued to Redline Limited had been successfully completed. He was also accused of preparing an inspection report which facilitated the irregular payments to the company.

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