Ex-Kebs boss seeks raw test results in fertiliser case



Ex-Kebs boss seeks raw test results in fertiliser case

 Charles Ongwae
Former Kebs managing director Charles Ongwae. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former Kenya Bureau of Standards’s (Kebs) managing director Charles Ongwae now wants to be allowed to access the raw data of tests conducted on contentious fertiliser alleged to contain mercury.

Mr Ongwae through his lawyer Davis Osiemo told senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that the charges he faces hinges on whether the fertiliser was contaminated.

He told a Nairobi court that results of the tests conducted in June last year were never availed to the court and the accused persons. The samples were also destroyed, he said.

Mr Ongwae has denied charges of attempted murder, in the alternative, aiding in the commission of a felony.

He has been charged together with former director of quality control at Kebs Erick Kiptoo, Peter Kinyanjui, the Inspection manager at the Kilindini Port, Pole Mwangemi, the Coast regional manager and Erick Kariuki, the Kilindini port health officer.

Mr Osiemo told the court the prosecution has an obligation to supply all the evidence both incriminating and exculpatory to the accused persons.

He said since the DPP entered into plea bargaining with importer and ordered the unconditional release of the fertiliser, it was critical for the accused persons to know whether the fertiliser in question actually contained mercury in first instance.

“His action calls into question whether the DPP is exercising his powers under Article 157 (11) in the public interest or his prosecution is blatant abuse of the legal process which he obliged to prevent,” says the application filed in court.

Kebs said it will oppose the application.

On his part, the DPP through Alexander Muteti sought the adjournment of the case stating that he intends to file new charges, after dropping those against four people. The four include Benson Oduor, a supervisor with Ballore Transport and Logistics as well Malika Karama, Younes Addou and Karim Lofti, all directors of OCP-K ltd.

Mr Cheruiyot directed the parties to file their responses with 14 days ahead of the hearing on June 19.


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