In Summary
  • Suspects exploit legal loopholes in the justice system to drag on cases at the expense of taxpayers.

  • Some cases yet to be finalised 10 years after the suspects were charged include those of former long-serving Kemri director Davy Koech, former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Shem Ochuodho and former PS Sammy Kirui (cemetery scandal).

After 10 years, the trial of businessman Yagnesh Devani and seven others in a corruption case (the Triton scandal) involving billions of shillings is yet to be finalised. The case is among dozens involving the rich and mighty that have never been completed.

In a shocking revelation, the Sunday Nation can reveal that besides Mr Devani’s case there are seven other corruption cases involving embezzlement of public funds running into billions of shillings that have also been in the courts for 10 years.

Other cases yet to be finalised 10 years after the suspects were charged include those of former long-serving Kemri director Davy Koech, former Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Managing Director Shem Ochuodho and former PS Sammy Kirui (cemetery scandal).

The others are the 2010 World Bank Education Funds scandal and the Sh1.6 billion NSSF scam.

The Sh7.6bn Triton scam

Since he took a plea on June 16, 2009, Mr Devani, the businessman behind the Sh7.6 billion Triton petroleum scandal, has exploited Kenyan courts in one of the many examples of how the rich easily run away from justice.

Mr Devani was charged alongside Triton Company, Benedict Mutua (KPC), Julius Kilonzo (Triton), Phanuel Okwengu (KPC), Peter Mecha (KPC) and Collins Otieno (Triton).

The mischief of the trial started days after some senior officers at KPC and Triton pleaded not guilty to 13 counts over the irregular release of petroleum products to Mr Devani.

Instead of Mr Devani standing trial alongside the other suspects, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, now the Cabinet secretary for Environment, withdrew a case on which a warrant of arrest had been issued earlier.

But after a public outcry, another warrant of arrest for Mr Devani was issued 24 hours later, with hopes among the public that the trial of the suspects was to be quick and swift.

In 2008, Mr Devani managed to have 96,000 tonnes of processed petroleum worth Sh7.6 billion released to him without authorisation from the financiers of the cargo.

Mr Devani, the chief architect of the scam, remains at large in the UK though Kenya has issued an extradition order.

Recently, the prosecution introduced new statements in court.

So far, 22 witnesses have been heard.

Kemri fraud case

Last month, the 2009 fraud case in which medical researcher Dr Koech was accused of swindling the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) of Sh19.3 million came up for submissions.

The former long-serving Kemri director and others were again charged in 2010 over the fraudulent acquisition of Sh536,986,493 belonging to Kemri.

The charges range from fraudulent acquisition and disposal of public property, abuse of office and failure to comply with the law relating to the management of the retirement benefits scheme’s fund.

The 2010 case will come for hearing on November 29.

Page 1 of 2