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Okemo and Gichuru cannot be extradited to UK - Appeal Court.

Former senior government officials Chris Okemo and Samuel Gichuru will not be extradicted to the Island of Jersey to face corruption and money laundering charges.

The precedent-setting Appeal Court ruling on Friday means the duo are scot-free, though it's doubtful if they can travel to any country with an extradition treaty with the UK.

The court declared 'a nullity' the process of their extradition to the Island of Jersey. This ends a seven-year court battle to avoid the law in the UK. Arrest warrants were issued for them in April 2011.

Okemo, a former Cabinet minister and Gichuru, a former KPLC boss, have since 2011 been challenging the DPP's powers to extradite them to to the UK.

Last year, Jersey and Kenya signed an agreement for return of more than Sh380 million assets allegedly recovered from the duo.

Lawyers Fred Ngatia and Otachi B'Womote successfully argued the surrender of suspects involves treaties and foreign relations.

They said this falls under executive discretion, notjudicial intervention. The lawyersurged the judges to stop the enforcement of extradition to the UK.

In 2015 High Court in 2015 gave the extradition process the green light following a decision by a magistrate's court in 2013 that okayed their handover to the Jersey authorities. But Appeal Court judges Erastus Githinji, Hanna Okwengu and Jamila Mohammed set aside the decisions.

53 charges

The judges struck out the committal proceedings and declared them invalid. 'The authority to proceed issued by the DPP on July 6, 2011, is a nullity together with the committal proceedings,' ruled the judge.

The DPP wanted the two sent Jersey to face 53 charges relating to commissions paid by international companies, mostly between 1999 and 2002. The amounts in question are 4,459,572 Pounds Sterling, 786,853 Danish Kroner and $3,207,360 (Sh902 million total).

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 3, 2018
Words:360
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