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NYS suspects remanded until Tuesday next week, pre-trial set for June 6.

National Youth Service (NYS) suspects arraigned in court. PHOTO| COURTESY
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti on Tuesday ruled that all the 33 National Youth Service (NYS) scam suspects, who include Public Service and Youth Affairs PS Lillian Wanja Muthoni Mbogo Omollo and NYSDirector General Richard Ethani Ndubai, to be remanded in prison until Tuesday 5th June 2018 when court will rule on their bail application.

Omollo and Ndubai pleaded not guilty to charges leveled against them over the Ksh.9 billion scandal at NYS.

The two were charged with abuse of office, willful failure to comply with applicable procedures on guidelines relating to the management of public funds among other charges.

Thirty-one others were charged alongside Ms. Omollo and Mr. Ndubai at the anti-corruption court where they pleaded not guilty to several corruption charges including conspiracy to commit an economic crime and to defraud over Ksh.28 million.
The prosecution opposed the release of the suspects on bail and at the same time urged the court to issue warrant of arrests against the suspects who did not appear in court.
It was the prosecution’s argument that if the accused are released on bail, they are likely to interfere with witnesses.Similarly, they argue that the evidence gathered so far is strong and sufficient to secure conviction against all the accused persons and hence there is likelihood of them absconding if released on bail.

“There are compelling reasons to warrant the detention of the accused persons pending hearing and determination of their case,” reads the affidavit.
The Magistrate, however, directed that the court first deal with the taking of plea and would later address the issues of suspects absent in court and lastly on bail.
The prosecution says it has 10 files on different matters and different transactions on the money involved in the scandal and wants each file treated separately in terms of bail application.The Investigating officer filed an affidavit  arguing the accused persons should not be released on bail citing among other things interference with witnesses and National Security.
In response to the Affidavit by the Investigating Officer the defense argued, only Parliament can deny the accused persons bail by amending the law to say they do not qualify for bail.
The Magistrate declined a plea by the prosecution to have the case adjourned to Tuesday over security concerns and on grounds that it was getting late in the day.
“If adjourned the accused will stay in custody for the third day with no fault of their own. We will proceed to the conclusion of the motions. I’m aware that security has been beefed up in this premises we are operating from and that security should not be an issue. Any part seeking for a health break including the court shall communicate accordingly. So we shall proceed,” ruled the judge.

Yesterday's high court decision means all these suspects will not be held in Police Stations but technically in the section of  jail called remand.

On Monday, the Prosecution will hand over all evidence and an inventory to the defense.

All those on the run were also asked to report at CID for processing and plea taking by Thursday at 2pm or face arrest.

On Wednesday 6th June, the accused persons will then appear in two or three different courts for pre-trial to check compliance and then set up hearing dates and a proper pre-trial conference.

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