Sirisia MP John Waluke received a boost after the High Court allowed his application to amend his appeal against the lower court’s judgment that sentenced him to 67 years imprisonment.
The Court directed the lawmaker to amend the petition and introduce the changes he desires within seven days so that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) can file his response.
Justice John Onyiego also directed that Mr Waluke’s appeal be consolidated with that of his co-convict in the Sh297 million maize graft, Grace Wakhungu, who is challenging her 69-year imprisonment term.
During the virtual session, the Judge also directed the appellants’ lawyers to liaise with the court’s deputy registrar to obtain copies of documentary exhibits produced by the prosecution at the lower court during the criminal trial. Justice Onyiego told them to obtain the exhibits and file their submissions within 14 days.
The hearing of the appeal is set to start on December 9 with a mention slated for November 16 before the deputy registrar.
The Judge directed the mention to be done at a physical open court for the deputy registrar to confirm that Waluke and Wakhungu are still in the country.
In the pending appeal, the appellants want their conviction and sentence quashed on grounds that the Sh297 million their company received from NCPB was legal and not out of fraud as alleged by the prosecution.
“The money the two convicts were accused of fraudulently receiving from the NCPB was paid pursuant to an Arbitration Order and High Court’s decree which has not been set aside to date,” Senior Counsel Paul Muite says in the appeal.
They are also accusing the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of paying a witness to secure the conviction.
They claim a prosecution witness from a South African company, Chelsea Freight Company, was paid an unknown amount of money by the EACC to testify against them.
The witness is quoted in the appeal as saying “EACC asked me to testify and I asked them to cater for my ticket and accommodation. I was offered some security. I was offered some amount of stipend.”