The high court has rejected a request by the prosecution to vary an order allowing ex- Chase bank boss Zafrulla Khan and 7 others permission to travel out of the country.
An applicant, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had informed the court that if Khan is granted permission to travel out of the country, there was a chance that he would not return back to the country.
DPP was apprehensive that if the respondent’s passport is released to him he would “abscond because Khan’s family were citizens of the United States of America and further that he had property in the said country, and will not likely appear before court during trial.”
The former Chase Bank chairman faces a Ksh7 billion fraud case in which he is charged alongside three former managers.
Resolved at trial court
DPP went all out demanding that the passport should remain detained in court during the pendency of the trial as part of conditions attached to his release on bail pending trial, something we thought had been resolved at the trial court!
Khan through his lawyers Cecil Miller and Peter Wena filed a replying affidavit in which they opposed the basis upon which DPP filed its application in the high court criminal division .
Justice Luka Kimaru reaffirmed that the trial court gave straight orders when it reviewed Khan’s bond whose terms were that he deposits his passport in court and may apply for its release whenever necessary.
Bond terms were reviewed
Miller secured the release of the passport(s) when the bond terms were reviewed.
Khan’s defence had categorically stated that in compliance with the terms that were imposed by the trial court to secure his release on bail, he was ordered to surrender his passport to the court.
“The fears expressed by the applicant to the effect that the trail court had granted him permission to travel out of the country without his passport was misplaced because it is not possible for him to travel out of the country without his passport…for the moment he had no intention of traveling out of the country,” they submitted and asked the court to dismiss the application.
“It emerged that the trial court had indeed ordered the respondent to surrender his passport as a condition for his release on bail…and if need be , he would request the trail court to release the passport to him,” the judge said.
Justice Kimaru said he agreed with the respondent that the application filed “is premature” and in the premises therefore found no merit than to dismiss it.
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