by David Karani
The directors of Keroche brewery have been released on bail after they denied tax evasion-related charges amounting to Sh14 billion.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi released the duo on Sh5 million bond or Sh2 million cash bail for Joseph Karanja while the wife, Tabitha Karanja was released on Sh15 million bond or Sh10 million cash bail.
The court further slapped the company with a Sh15 million cash bail.
Appearing in court on Friday, the couple listened attentively as a prosecutor read the charges.
Mr. Karanja, remained seated as the court official read the charges while his wife, Tabitha, remained standing merely responding “not true” answer to all the accusations.
The Keroche directors are represented by Lawyers James Orengo and Kioko Kilukumi.
Immediately after directors denied the charges, the prosecution asked the court to consider the amount of tax evaded in determining the cash bail and the fact that if the accused are found guilty, they could be imprisoned for up to ten years.
Catherine Mwaniki, Senior assistant DPP also sought the suspects to deposit their passports and not to leave court jurisdiction without permission.
Orengo noted that the amount of money in question (Sh14 billion) is under dispute and asked the court to take that into consideration.He also noted that the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Therefore, the court should not be carried away by the amount of money said to be in tax arrears; the Sh14 billion figure is still in dispute,” he submitted.
He also prayed that the court takes into consideration the health condition of Mr Karanja who recently underwent lifesaving surgery.