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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Charges against Kosgey suspended



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PAUL WAWERU| Nation Suspended Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey (left) and his lawyer Julius Kemboi in a Nairobi court before the mention of his case on November 25, 2011 It was adjourned to February 29, 2012.
PAUL WAWERU| Nation Suspended Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey (left) and his lawyer Julius Kemboi in a Nairobi court before the mention of his case on November 25, 2011 It was adjourned to February 29, 2012. 
By PAUL OGEMBA pogemba@ke.nationmedia.com AND PAMELA CHEPKEMEI newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com 
Posted  Friday, November 25  2011 at  22:00
IN SUMMARY
  • Tinderet MP could be let off the hook if petition against prosecutor is successful
Abuse of office charges against former Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey have been suspended until a case challenging the legality of a special prosecutor is determined.
Principal magistrate Mr Elijah Obaga ruled that the case cannot proceed after the High Court allowed the minister to initiate a judicial review against Mr Patrick Kiage’s role in his prosecution.
Last week, Justice Nicholas Ombija ruled that Mr Kosgey was being prosecuted illegally by Mr Kiage as his contract had expired.
He granted the Tinderet MP permission to initiate a judicial review of his prosecution and ordered that the case pending before an anti-corruption court should not proceed until the petition is heard and determined.
If Mr Kosgey successfully argues against Mr Kiage’s appointment during the judicial review, he could be let off the hook and criminal charges against him dropped.
Mr Kosgey was charged in February with 11 counts of abuse of office. He stepped aside as a minister to allow the determination of the criminal case.
It was alleged that he used his office to improperly confer a benefit to various individuals and companies by exempting 113 imported vehicles from the application of Kenya Bureau of Standards Code of Practice.
The government outlawed the importation of vehicles which are over eight years old except those for the government, diplomatic corps or those brought by returning citizens.
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He has denied the charges, saying that he acted within the law and questioned the merit of the charges, arguing that his predecessors applied the same law but were not prosecuted.
At the time the MP challenged Mr Kiage’s appointment, principal magistrate Mr Elijah Obaga had ruled that the MP had a case to answer.
The case will now be mentioned on February 29, 2012 depending on the outcome of the judicial proceedings against Mr Kiage.
Meanwhile, a political party says the High Court has no jurisdiction to handle a case lodged against it by Mathira Member of Parliament Ephraim Maina.
Safina party said in response to Mr Maina’s petition that the matter should be resolved by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
An  affidavit sworn by Mr Cyprian Nyamwamu, the party’s secretary general, says contrary to the MP’s claims that he was not given a hearing before action was taken against him, he was summoned to attend a disciplinary hearing he did not turn up.
The MP has filed a petition challenging an October 11 decision by Safina to expel him. The party accused him of violating its constitution and code of conduct by supporting presidential candidates other than its candidate, Mr Paul Muite.
Mr Nyamwamu says Safina pledged to support the candidature of President Kibaki in the last General Election but it  did not enter into a coalition with the Party of National Unity and fielded its own candidates for parliamentary elections.

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