Dec, 9th 2020 – Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki has been exempted after a Magistrates court acquitted him over tax evasion related charges. Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot in acquitting Kariuki, Peter Njenga, Robert Murithi, Eric Nzomba, Kefa Gakure, Africa Spirits and Wow beverages limited said the prosecution is not ready to present any evidence in court even after scheduling the case to be heard on a back to back basis.
He said, “Since the prosecution is not ready to prosecute this case, I proceed to dismiss both charges and acquit the accused persons under Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code.“
Three different files on several counts including forgery, money laundering and tax evasion were opened by the Director of Public Prosecution who later adjourned the hearing on claims that he was not ready by Monday.
The magistrate in his ruling said, “It is evident that the prosecution is not ready to present any evidence, even after being given enough time since 2019. Because the prosecution is not ready to prosecute this case, the court is left with no option but to terminate the case and acquit the accused.”
The magistrate denied the prosecution’s request to have the case suspended noting that it is unfair to keep the accused for more than one year before starting trial. He added that the DPP has the authority to prosecute criminal cases and determine how such cases are conducted and the authority must be exercised within the existing rule of practice and procedure.
The magistrate ruled that, “The court has already found that the application to suspend the trial is unreasonable and unjustified and further hold that it is against the public interest and interest of justice to adjourn this case as sought by the prosecution.”
The court is to be allowed to consolidate all three cases facing Kariuki.