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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Prominent Kenyans Face Extradition to UK

Two prominent Kenyans are facing extradition to the United Kingdom where they have been charged with money laundering. The development is raising hopes for success in Kenya's war on graft.

On Tuesday, Kenyan Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo told reporters in Nairobi that Kenya had no choice but to extradite a former minister and the former managing director of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to the United Kingdom. 

" …the time for Kenya to join other countries that respect the rule of law is now. So that is my position. I am surprised to see some of the remarks appearing in the media saying that if this happens, we will do this, if this happens we will do that. No no no…comply with the law and facilitate those Kenyan citizens to go and answer those charges where the courts have issued the warrants…"

Kilonzo was responding to questions regarding current member of parliament Chris Okemo and former utility official Samuel Gichuru. Both Okemo and Gichuru are wanted on the British island of Jersey to face charges of money laundering.

Late Monday, Attorney General Amos Wako submitted extradition requests from the United Kingdom, along with a report from Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere, to Chief Public Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko for consideration.
Tobiko will decide whether or not the extradition request is valid based on the strength of the evidence submitted by the United Kingdom. If Tobiko approves, Wako will then issue orders for the arrest and extradition of both Okemo and Gichuru
In return for the extradition of Okemo and Gichuru to Jersey, it was revealed that Britain was prepared to help locate and extradite Kenyan citizen Yagnesh Devani. Devani is wanted in Kenya for stealing nearly $100 million worth of oil from the Kenyan Pipeline Company.

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