Witnesses in Sonko Graft Case to Testify While ”Hiding” in a Box

February 19, 2020

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has said it will hide the identity of some witnesses in Governor Mike Sonko’s graft case.

The anti-corruption watchdog told a Nairobi Court on Tuesday that the High Court had allowed the agency to place the witnesses under protection due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The witnesses are under the Witness Protection Agency, a State organ tasked with safeguarding persons with important information and who are facing potential risk or intimidation due to their co-operation against suspects.

EACC also told the court that the witnesses will use pseudo names in their statements and will give evidence in a closed-door session while ”hiding” in a box.

But Sonko’s defence team protested the decision, denying knowledge of the High Court order.

Led by Cecil Miller and George Kithi, the governor’s lawyers accused EACC and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of failing to make full disclosure of documentary evidence hence denying their client the right to a fair trial.

They said the prosecution did not comply with the January 27, 2020 court order to the DPP and EACC to furnish Sonko with evidence in readiness for the pre-trial on February 26.

Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti criticized EACC and the DPP for failing to adhere to timelines set by the court. He said the agencies were frustrating proceedings of graft cases.

In its defence, the prosecution team explained that they misunderstood the court order, adding that they have handed over two boxes of documents to Miller.

State prosecutor Ms Nanjala said it is only one suspect who has not received evidence, adding that they have not supplied witness statements because some of the accused will be placed under witness protection.

Sonko is out on Ksh15 million bail after being charged with 19 counts of graft. He is accused of misappropriating Ksh357 million from Nairobi county coffers.

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