Pre-trial hearing of NYS scandal case postponed


Pre-trial hearing of NYS scandal case postponed
National Youth Service (NYS) suspects arraigned in court. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The defense, led by lawyer Assa Nyakundi, said the prosecution had not served them with original witness statements, adding that they have not had time with their clients to discuss the case they are facing.
  • They asked the court to give them a 14-day grace period for the prosecution to serve them with all the necessary documents in the case.
  • Lawyer Cliff Ombeta assured the magistrate that they are not willing to delay the hearing of the case but asked the court to order the prosecution to obey earlier orders on supply of witness statements.

A Nairobi magistrate court was on Wednesday forced to postpone the pre-trial hearing of the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal case for the second time after the defense claimed that it was not ready for the proceedings.

The defense, led by lawyer Assa Nyakundi, said the prosecution had not served them with original witness statements, adding that they have not had time with their clients to discuss the case they are facing.

“The space in prisons-remand is not sufficient, we don’t have enough time to discuss with our clients about the charges,” Nyakundi said.

They asked the court to give them a 14-day grace period for the prosecution to serve them with all the necessary documents in the case.

Lawyers in the case took issue with the prosecution’s move to supply them with typed witness statements that have no signatures, asking the prosecution to supply them with the originals which are usually handwritten.

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta assured the magistrate that they are not willing to delay the hearing of the case but asked the court to order the prosecution to obey earlier orders on supply of witness statements.

“We urge you that you reprimand them – the prosecution – and order them to supply us with witness statements,” said Ombeta.

During Wednesday’s sitting, the court heard that there are over 3,000 pages that the defense have supplied to some lawyers representing the accused persons.

The prosecution, who at first seemed to object to the adjournment of the pre-trail, agreed to have the matter adjourned to July 17 this month.

Magistrate Douglas Ogoti in his short ruling directed the accused persons to make formal applications in a complaint in which they wanted their bank accounts unfrozen.

“On the issue of Bank accounts, any party should move this court by way of a formal application,” ruled Ogoti

The magistrate said his hands were tied on the issue of bail, adding that any application on bail to be varied should be made when the hearing of the case kicks off.

Magistrate Ogoti directed those processing their release on bail should have an original ID that must be verified by the registrar of persons, copy of the security valuation, passport, availability of security-surety and a letter of verification of the security from the investigating officer.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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