Kenya's Goldenberg scandal lawyers lose passports

  Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenyan authorities on Thursday revoked the passports of two prominent lawyers implicated in the Goldenberg scandal.
   The lawyers, Philip Murgor, the immediate former director of public prosecutions and Mutula Kilonzo, retired president Daniel Moi's former counsel, fingered in the scam, were among the 20 prominent Kenyans who were earlier in the week ordered to surrender their passports and firearms to the police.
   Police Commissioner, Maj.
Gen (rtd) Hussein Ali, had ordered the 20, who included legislators, lawyers and retired and serving public servants to surrender the firearms and passports by late Thursday.
   By Thursday morning a substantial number of the 'suspects' had complied with the directive, while the police threatening legal action against those who defied.
   Murgor and Kilonzo had challenged the orders, saying they were illegal, apparently earning the wrath of the authorities.
   Among others adversely mentioned in the Goldenberg rip off, which saw the country lose 158.
3 billion Kenya Shillings in compensation for export non-existent gold and diamond, included former intelligence chief, James Kanyotu, ex-president Moi's two sons, Gideon and Philip Moi, Moi's aide Joshua Kulei and high flying businessman, Kamlesh Pattni.
   Also implicated in the scam was former vice-president, finance minister and lately education minister, George Saitoti who resigned Tuesday after the commission of inquiry appointed by the government to probe the scandal, presented its report to President Mwai Kibaki.
   Announcing the cancellation of the two lawyers' passports, government spokesman, Alfred Mutua, said the duo had failed to surrender the documents as required, adding that the government had no alternative but to revoke them.
   "The government has therefore cancelled the passports belonging to Mutua Kilonzo and Mr Philip Murgor with immediate effect.
Therefore the passports have no validity," Dr Mutua told journalists in his office here Thursday.
   Mutua said airports and other border points have been notified not to accept the cancelled passports.
   "As investigations into corruption unfold more people are likely to be asked to hand over their passports to the police," he warned.

16 février 2006 17:19:00

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