Sirisia MP Waluke appeals 67-year jail term in graft case

Sirisia MP Waluke appeals 67-year jail term in graft case

Sirisia Member of Parliament John Waluke has appealed against last week’s sentencing where he was jailed for 67 years or an alternative fine of more than one billion shillings.

Through his lawyers, Waluke has filed a 30-point document detailing what the lawyers term as inconsistencies and lack of independence in arriving at the guilty verdict.

This as the MP notified National Assembly Speaker ofm his intention to appeal his conviction, which could buy him time to remain the Sirisia MP.

Reports indicate that Waluke is still at the Industrial area prison, while Grace Wakhungu is spending her time at the Langata women’s prison.

Ondieki and Ondieki Advocates now filing a memorandum of appeal with the High Court, indicating several grounds of contest.

Waluke plans to contest the conviction saying it was based on a defective charge sheet.

He claims that critical witnesses were never called to testify in the case that was heard within two years.

Further, he claims that the anti-corruption court failed the test of impartiality and independence claiming that politics played part in the conviction and sentencing.

The lawyers allege that the prosecution’s case was characterized by inconsistencies and contradictions.

They assert that the 313 million shillings deal between NCPB and Erad, the company owned by Waluke and Wakhungu was a commercial transaction without criminal culpability, and therefore should have been pursued as a commercial dispute.

The lawyers also allege that Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma’s Court ignored evidence from the defense, and that there lacked sufficient evidence to prove fraud.

They also assert that documents presented before court depicted that the convicts did not receive all the money out of the 313 million shillings and were therefore not liable for the entire loss.

Last week, Waluke was sentenced to a combined 67-year jail term, or pay upto 1.04 billion shillings in fines.

Grace Wakhungu is required to pay 1.02 billion shillings in fines or serve 69 years in prison.

Reports indicate no fines have been deposited yet.

The convicts likely to be subjected to scrutiny of the source of their resources should they opt to pay the billions.

The two still have a week to file their appeal proper.

This as National Assembly Speaker Justine Muturi is said to have received the notice of appeal from Waluke therefore saving him from declaration of vacancy in the Sirisia seat at the expiry of 14 days