Court rules against DPP evidence bid in Ojaamong Ksh.8M graft case


Busia Governor Ojaamong and other suspects in court
FILE PHOTO | Busia Governor Ojaamong and other suspects in court

An application from the Director of Public Prosecution to adduce further evidence gathered in the corruption case against Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has been dismissed.

The High Court ruled that the prosecution is geared towards pre-emptying production of exhibits by the defense which have been identified by the prosecution witnesses.

“Although disclosure of evidence by prosecution is a continuous process, it should be used only where justice demands and that there was due diligence exercised in adducing the same in advance before commencement of the trial,” the court noted.

It was further noted that that the trial court was correct in holding that the prosecution’s investigations into the alleged forgery of documents would from the basis of a separate case.

Justice John Onyiego further ruled that it is not the duty of the High Court to micro-manage the court proceedings before a subordinate court.

“The court cannot for instance keep directing the lower court on which evidence to admit or not. A criminal trial itself contained in terms of procedure regarding admission of evidence,” Onyiego ruled.

The court heard that no application has been made before the trial court seeking to call for additional evidence.

On Wednesday, it was ruled that the application is not merited and orders issued that the file be returned to the trial court for proceedings to continue as scheduled.

In the Ojaamong case at the High Court, the prosecution expressed its discontent with a ruling from the Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti barring them from introducing the evidence.

According to Ogoti, any new evidence gathered would have formed part of a new court case so was therefore disallowed in their application.

The prosecution had argued that magistrate Ogoti misdirected himself in the matter by stating that they wanted to supply evidence that had already been produced by the defence.

In the case, Ojaamong and nine others are charged with engaging in a scheme to defraud the Busia County government of Ksh.8million between the months of March and September 2014.

They are facing seven counts ranging from abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime and engaging in a project without proper planning.

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