NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has sought 30 more days to review investigation files for 68 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)staffers accused of tax evasion.
A Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution told a Milimani court on Thursday DCI boss George Kinoti had submitted 68 files relating to the investigation on Tuesday but the prosecution needed more time to review them before making a decision on whether or not to recommend charges.
Alexander Muteti told Justice Luka Kimaru 21 more files were under investigation by the DCI.
The court directed that matter be mentioned September 19 for the prosecution to submit its report on the findings it had made on the 68 files.
The Judge also suspended mandatory appearance of the 68 suspects at DCI.
Justice Kimaru said the investigators can only summon suspects linked to the 21 files still under investigation.
Some 39 lawyers led by Philip Nyachoti faulted the DCI for prolonging summonses against their clients who were required to periodically appear before investigating teams since their release on bail in May yet months later detectives and prosecutors working on the case are yet to prefer charges against them.
“These are people who have families and school going children whom they need to attend,” Nyachoti told the court.
The lawyer submitted that besides reporting to the DCI their clients have also been appearing in court for the mentions to confirm the progress made in the investigations.
Nyachoti said DCI ought to have gathered enough evidence before arresting the suspects.
“The prosecution should only have brought criminal charges against the suspects not to hold them and ask for evidence,” the lawyer submitted.
READ: KRA interdicts 75 officials involved in tax evasion syndicate
Police are still holding the suspects’ mobiles phones, computers and other electronic gadgets which they say are useful in the investigations.
Justice Kimaru had released 38 suspects on Sh200,000 on May 17.
KRA had on May 10 announced the interdiction of over seventy KRA officials after an investigation revealed a tax evasion racket within the institution.
The seventy-five employees are said to have been aiding and abetting evasion of taxes by facilitating irregular clearance of cargo and executing fraudulent amendments of tax returns.
Among those interdicted were sixty-one officers from the Domestic Taxes Department, the other fourteen being officials attached to the Customs and Border Control Department.