The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is seemingly not ready to begin the trial against Keroche Breweries Limited owners Joseph and Tabitha Karanja in the Sh14 billion tax demand case.
Keroche Breweries owners Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Karanja were last month, arrested over alleged Sh14.4b tax evasion following orders from the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.
The public prosecutor had ordered the arrest of Keroche Breweries Limited proprietors Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Karanja over allegations of Sh14 billion tax fraud. The entrepreneurs through their lawyer James Orengo had moved to court seeking to stop DPP Noordin Haji from prosecuting them for 10 counts of tax evasion. A case that was set to be heard on 16th September, which was Monday this week.
Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja were later on released on Ksh. 10million and Ksh. 2million bail respectively. Appearing before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, Mrs. Karanja pleaded not guilty on behalf of Keroche Breweries. The court noted that the couple’s bail terms would be different taking into consideration Mr. Karanja’s health.
“Joseph Karanja is to pay cash bail Ksh. 2million within seven days while Mrs. Karanja should pay Ksh. 10million immediately, ” Magistrate Andayi said.
However, when the two appeared in court for pretrial mention on Monday, senior State counsel Catherine Mwaniki was not present to tell the court if the prosecution had complied with orders to supply the defense with witness statements and other documents to be used in the case.
Lawyers James Orengo and Kioko Kilukumi, for the Karanjas, said the prosecution was yet to heed the orders issued on August 23 to enable them to prepare defence before the hearing of the case.
Senior Magistrate Bernard Ochoi gave the prosecution more time and directed the matter be mentioned on September 24 for pre-trial.