DPP suffers setback as court declines to freeze tycoon’s bank accounts

DPP Noordin Haji
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji. PHOTO/COURTESY: NMG

The Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) efforts to convict embattled business man Humphrey Kariuki for tax evasion amounting to Ksh. 41 billion suffered a major setback on Wednesday after the High Court rejected a plea by the DPP to freeze the bank accounts of nine companies linked to the businessman.

State prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki had requested the court to order the nine companies not to make withdrawals from two bank accounts to enable the DPP finalize on its investigations. According to the Business Daily, Ms. Kariuki similarly sought approval to file written submissions in answer to accusations raised by Mr Kariuki challenging the filing of three similar criminal cases in Thika and Milimani. The state prosecutor made the request after a Kiambu court unfroze the bank accounts on Friday last week.

Justice Luka Kimaru however rejected Ms. Mwaniki’s request.

“I will not grant the status quo orders sought by the DPP. The accounts issues which are contested are yet to be canvassed by the parties,” Justice Kimaru said on Wednesday.

Humphrey Kariuki’s lawyers Cecil Miller and McMillan Ouma were against the state prosecutor’s request and they told the court that freezing the bank accounts held at KCB Bank and National Bank of Kenya would put the fate of over 3,000 employees, working for the nine companies, in limbo.

The companies whose accounts were frozen include: Dalbit Petroleum Limited, Azalea Holdings Limited, Kisima Management Company Limited, Rhine Hart Limited, Section Investments Limited, Belgravia Construction Limited, Wow Beverages, Janus Continental Group Limited and ASL. Justice Kimaru scheduled the case for hearing on Tuesday September 24.

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