KRA Challenges Court Ruling on Humphrey Kariuki’s KSh 17 Billion Tax Evasion Case

Billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki PHOTO/COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has filed a petition to overturn a decision by the court to quash Humphrey Kariuki’s KSh 17 billion tax evasion case.

On Monday, May 25, Justice Anthony Mrima dropped charges leveled against the tycoon arguing that KRA cannot be the investigator and the prosecutor.

In his ruling, Mrima argued that KRA has encroached powers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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KRA has now moved to court to challenge the ruling, maintaining that it contradicts a law that allows the taxman to prosecute and investigate.

“The KRA maintains the position that the declaration contradicts Article 157(12) of the Constitution which allows Parliament to enact legislation conferring powers of prosecution on authorities other than the Director of Public Prosecution,” KRA said.

In his ruling, Mrima also issued and order prohibiting the Chief Magistrate’s Court at Milimani from presiding or conducting the trial of the Petitioners.

“No Court in Kenya shall forthwith accept, register and in any manner whatsoever deal with any charge sheets not prepared and signed by any of the unlawful prosecutors,” he said.

He said government entities including KRA, the National Police Service and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption cannot draft, sign or present any charge sheets in any criminal prosecution.

Mrima added that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) lacked the mandate to undertake investigations on the same.

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“The investigations leading to the institution of the said criminal case were conducted by the National Police Service through the Director of Criminal Investigations, then no officers of Kenya Revenue Authority or the National Police Service could undertake the prosecution of the said criminal case whether as Special or Private Prosecutors or at all,” he maintained.

Kariuki had been charged together with directors of Wines of the World (WOW) and African Spirits Ltd including Peter Njenga, Robert Thinji Mureithi, Eric Mulwa Nzomba and Kefa Gakure.

The billionaire businessman and his co-accused faced a charge of being in possession of uncustomed goods.

The prosecution alleged that he was holding 80 drums of 250 litres each of ethanol valued at KSh 7.5 million without paying tax.

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