In Summary
  • Accused want to know why tests were carried out months after the fertiliser arrived in the country.

  • The accused, including former Kebs MD Charles Ongwae, Mr Erick Kiptoo and OCP (K) Ltd, say they wonder why the DPP pressed charges against them three months after the tests were done and “allegedly” confirmed the presence of mercury in the fertiliser.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has filed a case at the High Court seeking to stop new tests for mercury on a consignment of fertiliser.

Under a certificate of urgency, the DPP challenged an order issued by a city magistrate court last week.

The court ordered Kenya Bureau of Standards to collect samples from Bollore Logistics warehouses today and test them on February 12.

Through senior prosecution counsel Alex Akula, the DPP said the matter is of great public interest.

According to an affidavit annexed to the court papers, the issue of the credibility arises because the fertiliser has been in the custody of Bollore, yet the samples were collected without the knowledge of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The DPP added that he was never involved in the collection, testing or destruction of the samples collected by Kebs on January 24, 2018 and February 15, 2018.

But the company says when the samples were collected on June 19, 2018 by a multi-agency team, every member signed a document confirming the locking and sealing of the warehouse, which has been under 24-hour armed guard since.

The accused, including former Kebs MD Charles Ongwae, Mr Erick Kiptoo and OCP (K) Ltd, say they wonder why the DPP pressed charges against them three months after the tests were done and “allegedly” confirmed the presence of mercury in the fertiliser.

And contrary to claims that the accused  were attempting to block the cause of justice, their lawyer said fresh tests, as correctly observed by the court, would uphold their right to a fair trial.

The magistrate court said the application by OCP (K) Ltd is valid.

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