Two men charged with vandalising part of the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway (SGR) were yesterday released on a Sh6 million bond with a surety in the same amount.
They were also given a choice to pay Sh3 million to secure their freedom.
Athanus Mwanzia and Samuel Kamau denied sabotaging the SGR at a section in Kwale. The railway was recently launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The two were the latest to be charged with sabotaging the economy by destroying the railway line.
Senior Resident Magistrate Francis Kyambia said he could not ignore the fact that the Constitution stipulates that all Kenyans have a right to bail.
The two were also charged with destroying infrastructure, engaging in organised crime, and handling stolen goods.
Two more charged with SGR vandalism
The duo also denied dealing in scrap metal without a permit.
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions objected to the release of the accused on bond pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
One of the charges against Mwanzia and Kamau stated that, with others not before the court, they endangered lives by destroying the SGR, knowing well that their actions would impair the usefulness of the railway.
State counsel David Masila told the court that if released, the two would abscond.
He asked the court to put into consideration the nature of the offence when considering their bail application.
Mr Masila also informed the accused that if found guilty, the charges of economic sabotage would attract life imprisonment.
“Other suspects have yet to be arrested and if granted bail, the accused persons will interfere with investigations,” said Masila.
Eleven other people have been charged in connection with the destruction of the railway line. The charges include destruction of infrastructure and dealing in scrap metal without a licence.
The accused include Peterson Matunda, Benard Maina, Moses Wanyama, David Musyoki, and Nicholas Muthuku. They were granted Sh6 million bond or Sh3 million cash bail. [Mkamburi Mwawasi]