Sonko Gets Reprieve in Ksh357 Million Graft Case

  • DPP Noordin Haji (Left) and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
    DPP Noordin Haji (Left) and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
    File
  • Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is free to make a plea bargain with the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, the court has ruled.

    Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti made the ruling on Wednesday, August 26, after Sonko's lead lawyer Cecil Miller argued in court that there had been a witness reduction and raised issues of legibility of statements.

    "The accused persons are free to plea bargain with the DPP and report on the progress to the trial court," ruled Ogoti.

    The judge also directed that the case would proceed on a daily basis under Senior Principal Magistrate Kagure Nyutu.

    A photo of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a Milimani court in September 2018
    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at a Milimani court in September 2018
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    He further noted that no lawyer would be allowed to withdraw on a date that the case would be scheduled to take place.

    Ogoti also made it clear that the DPP, in case of the introduction of a new witness, the notice would be made, both to the court as well as to the defence, three days prior to the hearing.

    Sonko is facing charges related to the misappropriation of Ksh357 million from the county, charges that saw him barred from accessing his office

    He was arrested on December 6 at Voi, Mombasa County after the Director of Public Prosecutions issued a warrant of arrest on him but was later released on bail.

    Lawyer George Kithi, who is part of Sonko's team, told the court, on Wednesday, that the third accused, Patrick Mwangangi, had passed away.

    He presented the court with a copy of burial permits.

    Sonko, had mourned Mwangangi's passing on Saturday, August 8, describing him as a dedicated public servant.

    "It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the passing on of Patrick Mwangangi, former Head of Procurement at the Nairobi City County Government. Mwangangi was a dedicated public servant who shall be remembered for his tremendous contribution not only to Nairobi.

    "The many assignments he undertook, including his last as a lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology," stated the governor.

    What is a plea bargain?

    According to the ODPP's website, a plea bargain is a process that allows the accused to enter into an agreement or plead guilty in exchange for some concessions by the prosecution.

    This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of the several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges.

    The suspect may also plead guilty for the main charge in exchange for lenient sentence.

    Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji addresses a press conference at his office in Upperhill, Nairobi on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
    Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji addresses a press conference at his office in Upperhill, Nairobi on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
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    Kenyans.co.ke
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