A Nairobi court on Thursday rejected an attempt by the Director of Public Prosecutions to vary bond terms to allow businessman Humphrey Kariuki to get his passports back.
Magistrate Francis Andayi agreed with an earlier order that requires Kariuki to only present a surety to guarantee his attendance in court.
While in court, the DPP made an application that Kariuki have his Sh10 million cash bail reinstated and instead post bond and a surety.
Through lawyer Cecil Miller, Kariuki objected the application, saying the prosecution’s attempt to vary the bond terms was punitive.
“The travel documents had been released to him by another court only for the order to be reversed due to a multiplicity of cases in court,” Miller said.
Saying that Kariuki needs to travel abroad to attend to his vast business interests, Miller added that that the security posted by the billionaire was sufficient to guarantee his court attendance.
“We ask that the documents be released to him indefinitely, it would be unfair to ask my client to return to court every time he wants to travel abroad,” he said.
The court, however, said Kariuki should return the passport to court when he returns and can write to the court indicating when he wants to travel next and get approval.
On Wednesday, another lower court had set aside earlier orders directing the release of his passports.
Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot on Tuesday said the application for the release of the passports was merited but should be made afresh before chief magistrate Francis Andayi, who handled the matter when the parties were first arraigned in court.
Kariuki’s case involves three files, which are being heard in different courts.
Cheruiyot issued the directive after the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions raised the issue of the existence of two other case files and the different bond terms issued.
Kariuki, through lawyer Cecil Miller, had urged the court to allow him to travel to the United States, Gabon and Switzerland for urgent business meetings or engagements between September 23 and September 27, October 12 and between November 26 and December 6.
His Kenyan and Cypriot passports had been deposited in court when they were granted bail by Andayi.
Kariuki was arraigned in court last month in connection with tax evasion claims, amounting to Sh41 billion.