Court Quashes DPP Charge Against Keroche's Tabitha
DPP Noordin Haji has been sent back to the drawing board after a Nanyuki court removed the name of Keroche Breweries Limited Tabitha Karanja from a charge sheet where her company had been accused of packaging liquor illegally.
The Business Daily on Wednesday, September 11, reported that Nanyuki Principal Magistrate Njeri Thuku gave a nod to an application by Tabitha Karanja to be removed as a second respondent in the case.
"I have considered the application and I find it fit to substitute the charges and remove the second respondent from the charge sheet," she ruled.
Initially, the prosecution is reported to have sought to charge Tabitha alongside her Nnayuki distributor Grace Wanjiru and Keroche Breweries as an entity.
Wanjiru and Keroche were allegedly caught with Vienna Ice prepacked liquour in Nanyuki town on September 30, 2015.
Keroche Breweries Lawyer Ibrahim Sanko is reported to have told the court that the amendment of the charge sheet would be important, insisting that it would not have been appropriate to charge Karanja as the company's executive director and charge the firm concurrently.
Special Prosecutor John Maina, speaking on behalf of the Weights and Measurements Department, caved in to pressure from the defense and recommended that her name be expunged from the charge sheet.
"We wish to have the charge sheet amended to remove the name of the second accused since the case has progressed for the last three years and is about to be concluded without her being tried," he is quoted.
While Tabitha's name has been withdrawn from the respondent's list, Keroche Breweries and Grace Wanjiru still have a case to answer.
Tabitha is also facing 10 charges related to tax evasion in another court, alongside her husband Joseph Karanja and Keroche Breweries.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Wednesday, August 21 ordered their arrest and arraignment to answer to charges of tax fraud committed between January 2015 and June 2019.
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