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Court slaps former Kemri boss with Sh19.6m fine

Former Kemri director Davy Koech who was on September 15, 2021 convicted of corruption and jailed for six years.

 

A former Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) director has been slapped with a Sh19.6 million fine for corruptly acquiring public funds.

An anti-corruption court sitting in Nairobi handed the steep fine to former Kemri director Dr Davy Koech, or serve six years in jail in default.

While handing the sentence on Wednesday after his conviction, senior principal magistrate Victor Kumile said he will allow the scientist to pay the fine in two tranches of Sh9.8 million starting October 15, 2021. On this, Mr Kumile cited Dr Koech’s advanced age.

While invoking Article 29 of the Constitution, Mr Kumile said the ex-Kemri boss is now aged 70 and cannot be subjected to cruel treatment by being handed over to prison authorities.

The magistrate noted that Dr Koech had returned the malaria research money he acquired corruptly to the government with interest.

The crimes

In all the three counts and their alternatives, he was ordered to pay the mandatory fine of Sh100,000 or serve a jail term of 12 months.

For the primary offences, he was fined the amounts reflected in the charge sheets. The fines are Sh800,000, Sh6 million and Sh12.5 million.

He will also serve a sentence of 12 months.

The sentences will run consecutively, that is, each offence and fine will be independent.

Dr Koech was also found guilty of fraudulently acquiring public property.

In his judgment, Mr Wakumile found the former boss guilty of corruptly acquiring Sh19.6 million belonging to Kemri in 2006, money that was meant for research.

Dr Koech is alleged to have committed the offence on August 7, 2006 at Kemri offices in Nairobi.

The prosecution, through Ms Hellen Mutela, asked the court to order Dr Koech to pay the fine in full, failure to which he be committed to a prison term. But his lawyer Mr Denis Maina pleaded with the court to allow him pay the amount in installments.

“We are objecting to the fine being paid in full since the offence was committed 15 years ago. My client is in a position to pay the amount in five installments,” said Mr Maina.

The magistrate overruled and ordered the amount be paid in two installments. – nation.africa.