THE LALIVE attorney who  the government hired to draft a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) on its behalf at the height of  the Anglo-leasing investigations was also declared a hostile witness.

Dr Henzelin said he prepared a total of 8 letters  in respect to the task he had been mandated to perform in close consultation with the then Kenya anti Corruption Commission(KACC), now EACC and sent them to Kenya.

“Under a cover letter dated may 6 2008, the 8 letters of request for mutual legal  assistance were forwarded to me signed on the same day by KACC for onward transmission to the Swiss Federal  office of Justice and Police, ” the witness said.

He said he was subsequently granted Power of attorney dated July 5 2008 signed by the then attorney general Amos Wako that mandated him to represent and appear on behalf of the Kenya  government for purposes of mutual legal assistance requests and procedures in Switzerland.

Dr Henzelin said he was fully aware through publicly available judgments that the “competence of KACC to request  mutual assistance  from the foreign authority had been challenged but still went on with his business on the presumption that Swiss authorities had received valid mutual assistance requests from the Kenya government.”

Line of evidence

SC Ahmednassir Abdullahi attacked Dr Henzelin’s line of evidence in cross examination.

He asked the witness whether he was aware of a judgement in a case related case in which he had represented the government and lost.

The trial court in Nairobi was told that in the case, the government had raised an issue about the pricing of the contracts but all the arguments fronted were dismissed.

The veteran lawyer asked the witness if he had advised the government to file a suit to recover monies…

Dr Henzelin said that as far as his brief was concerned “it was purely to give mutual assistance and not to analyse the evidence.

He said he could not confirm if indeed there was any criminal culpability.

Personal opinion

The witness was taken to task for not answering questions and being hostile.

Court ordered him to answer what was being asked and to refrain from giving his personal opinion.

The breaking point came when he was shown a court order that had prevented Kenya from requesting the much touted Mutual Legal Assistance(MLA).

Ahmedanssir said the court order was issued by justice Jessie Lessit on December 20 2007 declaring that KACC/EACC “cannot request of give the MLA mandate.

The lawyer charged that Dr Henzlin had acted in defiance to the court order by carrying out the task as requested by the government, in the face of a standing court order.

Copies of documents

The witness was also barred by the trial magistrate Martha Mutuku from producing copies of documents  after he confessed having left the originals back in his office in Switzerland.

The court declined to overlook this oversight.

Similarly, Deputy Solicitor General, Muthoni Kimani, who is also the director of Assets Recovery Agency  told the  trial court that she has not been in a position to trace seven original letters relating to the case that were handed to Kenya from Switzerland.

Muthoni was also disallowed from producing document copies as evidence as the originals are presumed to be with the EACC.

Please click the link below for earlier post on the missing documentation:

Anglo-leasing: I could not trace original documents handed to us from Switzerland,witness tells court

The hearing continues.