DPP cleared to try Malili land sale suspect

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been allowed to prosecute a former director of Malili Ranch Company alongside Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and former PS Bitange Ndemo over the alleged irregular sale of land to the government for construction of Konza Techno City.

Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi dismissed Julius Kilonzo Maweu’s plea to stop his fresh trial over the theft of millions of shillings from the shareholders of Malili Ranch.

Mr Maweu had told the magistrate that he will suffer prejudice since he had been acquitted in a similar case by former chief magistrate Gilbert Mutembei in 2011.

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Mr Mugambi, however, dismissed Mr Maweu’s request and ordered the DPP Keriako Tobiko to try him alongside other suspects including Mr Muthama, Dr Ndemo, former commissioner of lands Zablon Angwata Mabea and a commissioner of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) Ronald Leposo Musengi.

The suspects are charged with the theft of over Sh179 million from the Malili Ranch Company members.

Mr Mugambi said the case before Mr Mutembei was that of theft while the current case against Mr Maweu is that of conspiracy to steal, therefore ruling that the present case against Mr Maweu is different from the one in which he was acquitted by Mr Mutembei in 2011.

“I find no merit in the application to remove his name from the charges filed by the DPP against him and it is hereby dismissed,” he said.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Paul Muite who has been appointed as a Special Prosecutor by the DPP. Mr Muite is being assisted by a prosecuting counsel Duncan Ondimu.

Mr Maweu is being defended in the case by lawyers Steven Andere and Michael Muchemi Ndegwa.

Other three directors of Malili Ranch who were named in the fresh case, David Ngilai, James Munguti and Leonard Kitua, have filed an application at the High Court challenging their trial.

High Court Judge Mr Justice George Odunga in September 2014 issued orders preventing the anti-corruption court from taking plea from the three.

Mr Muthama, Dr Ndemo, Mr Musengi and Mr Maweu have denied stealing over Sh179 million from the shareholders of the Malili Ranch, being proceeds of the sale of 5,000 acres of land for building the Konza Techno City in 2009.

All the suspects are out on a cash bail of Sh1.5 million.

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