Prosecutors have filed a fresh application to amend corruption charges against former Treasury CS Henry Rotich and others in the Sh63 billion Kimwarer and Arror dams case.
They want to consolidate the case with that of former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) managing director David Kimosop following a review.
In the application, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji wants to drop the number of accused persons from 18 to 9 and reduce the counts from 40 to 30 in the two matters.
Special prosecutor Taib Ali Taib and Deputy Director Alexander Muteti said once the cases are consolidated, the number of witnesses will drop from 104 to 52, thus expediting the determination of the two cases that have great public interest.
Mr Muteti said it is in the interest of justice that the two matters be heard together to avert unnecessary delays.
The DPP notes that consolidating the cases will also save precious judicial time and other scarce resources.
There are three existing court files involving Mr Rotich, Mr Kimosop and the Italian firm implicated in the multibillion-shilling Arror and Kimwarer dams saga.
But senior counsel Kioko Kilukumi, for Mr Rotich, and other lawyers told the court that they will oppose the proposed consolidation. Mr Kilukumi sought to be granted more time to file a detailed response.
The defence lawyers argued that this is the fifth time the DPP will amend the charges.
Lawyer Katwa Kigen, for Mr Kimosop, accused the DPP of delaying the matter by introducing fresh charges.
But Mr Muteti objected, saying there is a smear campaign against the DPP, who he said is keen to have the matters disposed of quickly.
However, Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi blasted the State prosecutor for filing the application on October 8, 2021 and leaving before directions were issued.
In the new charge sheet filed in court, the updated line-up of nine accused persons are ex-CS Rotich, Kennedy Nyakundi Nyachiro, Jackson Njau Kinyanjui, David Kipchumba Kimosop, William Kipkemboi Maina, Paul Kipkoech Serem, Francis Chepkonga Kipkech, Titus Muriithi and Geoffrey Mwangi Wahungu.
They are accused of conspiracy to defraud the government of $501,829,769 by unlawfully initiating and entering into a contracting, financing and insurance agreement for the development of the Kimwarer and Arror multipurpose dams.
They face 29 new charges of engaging in a project without prior planning, wilful failure to comply with procurement laws, abuse of office and financial misconduct.
The magistrate will issue directions by video link on October 26.
The accused have denied the charges and are out on bond.
By Nation Africa