Former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) managing director Shem Ochuodho has suffered a setback in a Kshs. 827 million graft case after Anti-corruption Magistrate Douglas Ogoti allowed a witness to table bank statements.
The witness, David Mwisaka, a legal advisor from Standard Chartered Bank, said that when he appeared in court in November 2019, they had a data retention policy and original documents could only be retained for several years then destroyed.
Mwisaka used copies that were challenged by the defence team hence made him request for more time to be allowed to go to their historical records to confirm if the bank had the documents.
Ochuodho and his co-accused had opposed the use of the documents as evidence, saying they would be prejudicial to them. But in a brief ruling, anti-corruption magistrate Douglas Ogoti said the contested documents meet the threshold of the Evidence Act. He said no evidence should be left out.
The case involves Ochuodho, KPC chairman Maurice Dantas, and two directors of Triple A Capital Ltd. namely John Gichia Macharia and Terry Wijenje, are accused of conspiracy to defraud KPC of Kshs. 827 million. Triple A Capital allegedly entered into a refinancing arrangement that required KPC to pay them the Kshs. 827 million and, in turn, the firm would service the corporation’s international debts. The accused are out on Kshs. 2 million bail each.
Justice Ogoti’s ruling is a win for the prosecution as it will help stem the tide of corruption cases collapsing or suspects fleeing justice due to insufficient evidence.