State wants Solai Dam case dropped as victims agree to out-of-court deal
Six years after the Solai dam burst, killing 48 people and leaving a trail of destruction, the ODPP has applied to withdraw the criminal case.
In a certificate of urgency, the ODPP said the victims and the accused had reached an out-of-court settlement, with the families of the deceased receiving Sh1.2 million for adults and Sh800,000 for minors from the farm owner.
This emerged during the ongoing trial in which Perry Mansukh, a director of Solai Farm, and eight others were charged on 8 May 2018 with 48 counts of manslaughter and failure to prepare an environmental impact assessment report.
The other eight are Vinoj Jaya Kumar, Johnson Njuguna, Luka Kipyegen, Winnie Muthoni, Jacinta Were, Tomkin Odo Odhiambo, Williec Omondi and Lynette Cheruiyot.
Through State Counsel Alex Muteti, the ODPP sought to have the criminal case withdrawn though the court had already put the nine accused on their defense.
Muteti told Naivasha Chief Magistrate Nathan Lutta that the victims and the accused through their advocates had held several meetings where the issue of compensation had been arrived at.
While calling on the court to consider the application, he noted that the case had taken over six years, emotionally and financially draining all the parties involved.
Muteti told the court that under the agreement, the victims would be compensated in cash and the criminal and civil cases against Mansukh would be dropped.
Advocate Ferdinand Masinde told the court that they supported the application by the ODPP, adding that all the affected victims had signed the agreement.
He added the farm owner had already opened an account and deposited the required compensation escrow-cash to show his commitment in resolving the issue out of court.
Lawyer Hagai Chimei who is representing the victims supported the petition to withdraw the case adding that all parties had agreed to the out of court settlement.
The magistrate will give his ruling on 23rd of November.
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