A contractor who appeared before a Kiambu court on accusations of defrauding a client over Ksh3 million on claims he was in a position to build him a bungalow has denied the charges.
Martin Mburu Mwangi, who had earlier been released on a Ksh50,000 police bond at Kiambu Police Station, caused a stir after he was discovered to be taking plea virtually yet he was within the court precincts
He had physically shown up to the court accompanied by his defence lawyer but opted to join the court’s virtual proceedings from a bench outside the courtroom for fear that his police bail terms could be revoked.
When he was called by Kiambu Chief Magistrate Ms. Patriciah Gichohi to take the plea, his response outside the courtroom elicited drama prompting the court clerk Mr. Joseph Miringu to ask him to do so either inside the court or at the police station.
The sitting magistrate directed him that all virtual attendees must do so within designated places like the courtroom or at a police station
It was then that he got inside the court accompanied by his defence lawyer.
The charge sheet read; “ on diverse dates between 8th March 2019 and 1st April 2019 at Kenyatta road in Juja sub-county of Kiambu county, jointly with others not before the court, being the directors of Belasi Developers limited, with intent to defraud, he obtained three million, two hundred and fifty thousand (3,250,000) from Jackson Maina Mwangi, by falsely pretending that he was in a position to construct a 3 bedroom bungalow number 7 at summer green 5 estate along Kenyatta road on property L.R.No 1728 NGENDA/KIMUNYU a fact he knew to be false or untrue.”
The hearing of the case was set for August 5 while the mention will be on July 6, 2021.
Senior state counsel for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Christine Mbevi did not object to the accused being released on bond.
She however told the court that the bond terms must be in
tandem with the amount of money lost in the commission of the offence.
The defence pleaded for lenient terms saying that owing to the current covid-19 pandemic, the family of his client could only raise 50,000 shillings that had been deposited at the police station for his release and that they could not raise any more than that.
After considering the defence and the prosecution’s sentiments, the magistrate released him on a bond of Sh300,000 with a surety of a similar amount.