Businessman Humphrey Kariuki and his co-directors have been acquitted of Sh 7.4 Million Tax evasion claims and being in possession of uncustomed goods charges.
Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot said he made the decision because The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has failed to provide witnesses in the case after several adjournments.
Kariuki who was being represented by lawyer Cecil Miller in the case was charged that on January 31,2019 at Africa Spirits Limited and Wow beverages Limited premises within Thika Town, in Kiambu County, he was found in possession of eighty drums of 250 liters of ethanol inside a trailer truck valued at Sh 7,402,958 without payment of relevant Duty.
Kariuki had been charged alongside Stuart Gerald, Peter Njenga, Robert Thinji, Eric Mulwa, Kefa Gakure, Africa Spirits and Wow beverages who have also been acquitted.
Lawyer Miller had asked the court to dismiss the charges since the matter had been pending for long at the courts.
“Court should dismiss this case because the prosecution always seeks for unnecessary adjournments without any evidence adduced in court, “said Miller during the mention of the matter.
In the Second Count they had been charged that on January 31,2019 at Africa Spirits Limited and Wow Beverages Limited Premises in Thika Town, within Kiambu County, jointly with others not before court conspired to defraud the government of Kenya Revenue of Sh 5,704,858 by failing to pay relevant duty for eighty drums of 250lts each of ethanal found in their possession.
I find and hold that where the dpp has authority to prosecute criminal cases and to determine how such cases are conducted, the authority mist be exercised within existing rule of procedure and practice.
The court has already found that the application to stay these proceedings is unreasonable and unjustified and further found therefore hold that it is against the public interest and interest of justice to adjourn this case as sought by the prosecution.
Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot in his ruling said that it was unnecessary to adjourn the case to allow amendments of charges since it had been adjourned for many times.
“In the circumstance l find no reason that makes it proper, appropriate or expedient to adjourn the hearing of this case and because the prosecution is not ready to present any evidence, even after being given three days to do so, this court is only left with no option other than to invoke the provisions of section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code to dismiss the charges, “ruled Cheruiyot.
He added that since the prosecution is not ready to prosecute this case, he will proceed to dismiss both charges and acquit all accused persons under section 202 of the CPC.