Eighteen suspects in the KRA tax evasion have opposed an application by prosecution to detain them for 21 days.
Through lawyer Philip Nyachoti,the suspects have opposed an application by State Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu pending the hearing and determination of another application pending at the high court seeking to stop the detention.
Ondimu made the request before magistrate Paul Mayova to have them detain for 21 days so that they can pursue detailed investigations.
“There are compelling reasons to warrant detention of the respondents pending detailed investigations on their illegal criminal enterprise,” he told the Milimani high court where they were arraigned.
Some of the suspects who appeared at the Milimani law courts are Lynne Chepkemboi, Nicholas Omondi, James Mathanga, John Okore, Dianah Walegwa, and Susan Joan among others.
They were arrested on May 14, 2019 and at the time of the arrest, majority of the respondents had new mobile phones and others claimed that they did not have mobile phones.
In affidavit filed by Author Onyango from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the suspects are being investigated on the offense of tax evasion, money laundering, and abuse of office among others.
Onyango added that the investigations are complex and require detailed analysis in respect to over 178 mobile phone numbers and Mpesa statements.
“The application our clients were served is unsigned and we have a problem in ascertaining whether it is the same application that the magistrate have,” said Lawyer Nyachoti who is acting for Omondi.
Nyachoti said that his client has not been served and a matter is a serious which involves freedoms and liberties of citizens of this country which is constitutional in nature.
He said that the matter cannot be responded on the sport without considering substantive submissions to respond to the same.
Nyachoti said he has not been served with some application and thus he cannot proceed with application he has not been served with thus make comment on the issue of consolidation as DPP is seeking.
“I have been made aware that there was a similar application before court last week and was related to the one in court 1964/2019 and a decision was made and detained the respondents for 14 days,” said Nyachoti.
He added that the two applications are the same in substance, style and he has also been made aware that an application has been filed at the high court seeking to review the orders granted to prosecution to detain KRA officials for 14 days and is being argued before a judge.
Nyachoti told the court that the ruling made on Monday is being challenged before the high court and in view of the nature of proceedings before court, they submitted that the court differ the hearing of the proceedings till Friday this week to awaited the ruling of the matter at the high court.
He told the court that that is just their proposal but will leave the court to make a decision on this issue.
Nyachoti objected to consolidation of three applications by the prosecution and said that they need time to respond.
“Whatever the outcome of the decision of the high court may affect all the other applications especially if the order is overturned,” he said.
Nyachoti said the two application for 2023/2019 and 2024/2019 cannot proceed today.
Ondimu in response said that no stay order has been issued to stop the proceedings from the lower court.