Pattni must go to court, says AG
Published on June 18, 2008, 12:00 am
By David Ohito
The Government will not drop Goldenberg-related charges against businessman Kamlesh Pattni, Attorney-General Amos Wako has said.
Wako told a parliamentary committee that the Government would not drop criminal cases involving Pattni and was ready to revive them next month.
Wako was answering questions by the committee, which has expressed fears that the Grand Regency Hotel may have been sold secretly by well-connected individuals.
The Finance, Planning, Trade and Tourism Committee chairman, Mr Chris Okemo, complained that Government officials were taking his committee round in circles as they allegedly tried to conceal the truth of the sale and handover of the hotel.
In yet another revelation, Wako, who was questioned by the committee for two hours said the handover of the five-star hotel was done behind his back.
However, Pattni had told the committee last week that he surrendered his hotel in return for pardon for suits against him.
Said Okemo: “We are reading sinister motives in regard to the sale of the hotel. A lot of information is being withheld by Finance minister Amos Kimunya and the Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u and we will summon them again.”
Okemo said there were many gaps between what Kimunya had told the committee and what the director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr Aaron Ringera, and the Central Bank governor had said.
The committee asked Wako why the sale of the hotel was not subjected to procurement procedures. But the AG pleaded for more time to give a response.
“In our opinion, Wako does not want to commit himself yet he is the Chief Legal Government Adviser. This casts a lot of doubt in the deal,” Okemo said.
Wako told the committee that he only learnt of the hotel handover through the media.
“We will send out fresh summons to Kimunya, Ringera and Ndung’u to come and clarify the sale status,” Okemo said.