The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has expressed its dissatisfaction with a ruling delivered yesterday by a Milimani Court acquitting businessman Humphrey Kariuki and his co-accused of tax evasion charges in a case where they had been accused of being in possession of 80 drums of uncustomed ethanol.
In a ruling delivered on Tuesday, Senior Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot said the ODPP had failed to produce witnesses 16 months after the suspects were charged.
But in a letter addressed to the court, the prosecution has requested to be supplied with certified typed and handwritten copies of the proceedings in the case number 1334 of 2019 and rulings delivered by the magistrate to enable the DPP “lodge an appeal and/ or revision”.
“In addition, the proceedings recorded by Hon. W. Andayi , CM in Milimani CM CR C NO.1333 of 2019 REP.Vs HUMPREY KARIUKI & 7 OTHERS should be supplied to us urgently both in typed and handwritten form, ” Prosecution Counsel Carol C. Sigei said in the letter dated December 9 reads.
“In the interests of justice and given the public interest concerns in the matter, we would be most grateful if we got the handwritten proceedings immediately in order to enable us lodge an appeal and/ or Revision.”
Sigei stated that the typed proceedings should not take more than 14 days to process.
“The public hue and cry that has greeted yesterday’s decision need not be emphasized thus the need to fast track the matter, ” the prosecution added.
Kariuki is the proprietor of Africa Spirits Ltd and WOW Beverages Ltd, both based in Thika.
The billionaire was charged after a consignment of 250-litre drums were found at Africa Spirits Ltd’s premises following a raid in January last year.
Despite his acquittal yesterday, the tycoon has two other pending cases touching on tax evasion.
The prosecution had on Monday applied to consolidate the cases against the businessman saying that witnesses and exhibits are the same.
The prosecution told the court that it wanted to consolidate Kariuki’s Ksh41 billion tax evasion case with two other cases including the one on possession of uncustomed goods.
In the third case, the businessman is accused of being in possession of fake custom receipts.
The DPP applied to have the case that was before Cheruiyot mentioned before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi for consolidation.