A suspect accused of defrauding an international rally driver of Sh170.8 million by pretending that he would sell him 500kg of gold has been released on a Sh1 million cash bail.
Elvis Ouma Muga, alias Nick, who spent a week at the Industrial Area remand for failing to raise Sh5 million, won the sympathy of Milimani chief magistrate Martha Mutuku who reduced the bail to Sh1 million.
Muga has denied defrauding Bernhard Ten Brinke, a Danish national and renowned rally ace of $1,567,120 (Sh170,816,734) by pretending he would sell to him 500kg of gold.
He pleaded to have the bail imposed reviewed downwards as he could not raise the amount.
Defence lawyer Stanley Kang’ahi while asking for a review of the cash bail told the court that Muga had been languishing at the Industrial Area remand since he cannot raise the hefty bail of Sh10 million bond with one surety with an alternative cash bail of Sh5 million.
“I approach the mercy seat of justice of this court for a reduction of the huge cash bail and bond as my client cannot meet the imposed terms,” he submitted.
The defence said for a week the accused had tried in vain to raise the bail.
He urged the magistrate to exercise her discretion in favour of the accused and not to be swayed by the amounts appearing in the charge sheet.
The court heard bail should not be punitive as that would amount to denying the accused his constitutional and fundamental rights.
In response to the plea, the prosecuting counsel Anderson Gikunda said the terms granted by the court last Friday were commensurate with the amounts allegedly lost.
Gikunda, however, said the court can exercise its discretion in the best way justice would be served.
In her ruling, Mutuku said the purpose of bail or bond is to ensure one attends courts at the trial.
She reviewed the bail downwards and ordered Muga to deposit a cash bail of Sh1 million.
Muga, who was charged before Milimani principal magistrate David Ndungi on July 9, denied two counts of obtaining money through pretences and conspiracy to defraud Brinke.