NYS suspect Ben Gethi seeks to drop lawyer in money laundering case

A key suspect in the multi-million-shilling National Youth Service (NYS) scandal now wants his lawyer stopped from representing him in a money laundering case.

Ben Gethi told the court he wants to replace lawyer Joseph Wagala.

“I want to withdraw my instructions because he (Wagala) is not representing me well even in the matters pending before the High Court and he is not competitive in my case,” Gethi told Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Gethi told the trial court he is shopping for another lawyer to represent him in the case in which he is facing 15 counts.

The defence objected to the prosecution’s application to have the matter adjourned on grounds Jedidah Wangari, who is to be charged alongside Gethi, was not present in court.

Lawyer Ham Langat requested the court to compel the prosecution to produce Wangari in court because they risk re-trial.

“The accused is within the Kenyan jurisdiction and can be traced. The court is capable of giving orders for her to be produced failure to which the prosecution should consider terminating the proceeding against her,” said Langat.

Langat said the prosecution is delaying the hearing of the case by failing to produce the accused.

But the prosecution said the absence of Wangari, who is at large, will not affect the case against Gethi since she is only facing one count.

The prosecution said there is no prejudice that the defence will suffer if the case proceeds before Wangari is charged although they are looking for her.

The defence also wanted to be excused from appearing before the court in all the hearings and mentions. The court was forced to adjourn the case against NYS key suspects Josephine Kabura and Gethi, among others.

The prosecution said Wangari has never appeared in court despite the many warrants of arrest that have been issued against her. There are claims Wangari is a sister to Gethi.

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