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Chinese suspects in SGR scam denied bail – VIDEO

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Three Chinese nationals arrested in relation to the standard gauge railway ticketing scandal and charged with giving a total of Sh900,000 bribe to the police as an inducement to influence investigations have been denied bail.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Julius Nang’ea declined to release Mr Li Gen, Li Xiaowu and Sun Xin on bond saying that the court was satisfied with the reasons by the prosecution to deny them bond.

The magistrate said despite the court being told by the defence that the accused reside at the SGR terminus in Mombasa, it was evidence from the bar.

The accused are employees of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

“The court has not been told the specific address, without demonstration that the accused have a reasonable place of abode, it would not be a guarantee that they will attend court,” said Mr Nang’ea in his ruling.

Mr Nang’ea said everyone including a foreigner has a right to be released on bond but the primary consideration is whether the accused upon release will attend court.

Through lawyer Dr Wamuti Ndegwa, the accused said they intend to seek a review of the ruling or file an appeal.

The accused were charged with offering a Sh500,000 bribe to inspector Andrew Warui and a team of his investigators as inducement to influence an ongoing criminal investigations in their favour.

They also jointly faced another charge of offering Sh200,000 bribe to the police.

Mr Xiaowu was also charged with giving Mr Warui Sh200,000 bribe.

The accused, who are a transport manager, a security officer and a translator will now remain in prison custody until December 10 when they will attend court for pre-trial.

The court heard that the offences were committed on November 22 while in counts two and three it was told that the offences were committed on November 23.

Through prosecutors Renson Ingonga and Jami Yamina, the prosecution opposed the release of the accused saying that they are a flight risk.

Mr Ingonga argued that the accused are foreigners who work at the SGR Mombasa terminus and have no fixed abode.

According to the prosecutors, if the accused leave the jurisdiction of the court, they would not come back since there is no treaty between Kenya and China that would see them brought back to face trial.

“The fears of the accused being a flight risk is merited, where mutual legal assistance is not agreed upon between Kenya and China, the issue (of flight risk) be considered seriously,” said Mr Ingonga.

Mr Yamina urged the court to take notice that SGR is a flagship project anchored on the Vision 2030 platform which has immense public interest.

“It could be prejudicial at this stage to release the accused on bail,” said Mr Yamina, who told the court that the accused are also suspects in relation to witness interference.

Through lawyer Nelson Sitonik, the accused sought to be released on bond saying that they will abide by all the conditions that the court may set.

Mr Sitonik further said that the accused live at the SGR Mombasa terminus and have no intention of jumping bail.

“They reside in the terminus, within it (terminus)there is a police station, they are willing to be reporting to the officer in charge (OCS) at the terminus daily,” said Mr Sitonik adding that the accused have no intention of interfering with investigations.

Mr Sitonik added that the accused having handed over their passports to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, they are not a flight risk and are ready to meet their accusers in court.

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