The forty employees of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) who were arrested in May last year with plots to aide tax evasion have suffered a setback after the High Court rejected an application to withdraw the charges.
Justice Luka Kimaru dismissed their application saying the intended trial is not null since the investigations were conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
The judge also dismissed claims that the DPP had delayed their trial by more than a year hence delaying justice.
He argued that the suspended employees delayed in filing numerous applications in the matter leading to the year long delay.
Justice Kimaru said the orders preventing their prosecution will be removed once they are charged.
“This court does not have jurisdiction at that stage of proceedings to give any direction on how the investigations or the decision to charge should be undertaken,” the judge said.
The employees were arrested last year for colluding tax evaders to deny the taxman revenue.
The forty workers had their phones, personal computers and other electronic communication gadgets were confiscated to assist in investigations.
They were then arraigned in court whey were ordered to deposit cash bail of Sh200,000 before being released.
The suspects argue that the 14 month delay was unreasonable and so the court should throw out the charges.
Led by one Kenneth Omondi Ochieng’, they also argued that the DCI had no powers to investigate taxation, economic and money laundering crimes and they called on the court to permanently stop their prosecution.
The DPP has opposed the application on the ground that they were all informed the reasons for their arrest and were also given a chance to record their statements in response.
DPP is represented by principal litigation counsel Caroline Kimiri who added that the investigations were complex and required detailed analysis.
But Justice Kimaru said they did not error in stating that the DCI should have deferred to authorised officers appointed by the Commissioner-General of KRA to probe the matter.
“This court is, however, not persuaded by the argument advanced by the applicants which was to the effect that this court should nullify the investigations conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on the basis of jurisdictional overreach,” Justice Kimaru said.