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WAKO SEEKS KSHS.4.7B TO DEFEND MUTHAURA AND ALI.

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Denzel Musumba

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Attorney-General Amos Wako has written to Treasury requesting funds for the legal defence of two of the six Ocampo suspects. Nation sources said that the decision to pay the legal costs for Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali was allegedly reached at a Cabinet meeting in December last year. The Nation has not seen a copy of the letter and Mr Wako could not be reached for comment but the sources, who are privy to Cabinet proceedings, said Mr Wako’s letter was dated December 29. Opinion in government is sharply divided with some opposed to the use of public funds for the defence of criminal matters and others arguing that Civil Service regulations obligate the government to do so. On Thursday, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo opposed the use of taxpayers’ money arguing that the two officials are being sued in their private capacities. “They are being sought in their individual capacities and therefore cannot expect to get legal representation at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said. On Wednesday, Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua said the matter was being reviewed and a decision on financing the defence of the Ocampo suspects will be taken. “The issue of covering the legal fees of the mentioned officials is still under review and any decision made will be done in accordance with the Constitution and the code of conduct for civil servants,” he said. Mr Kilonzo said that if any of the six does not have money to retain a lawyer, they can apply to the Hague for legal aid. He argued that if the government pays their legal costs, it will also be saddled with reparations which the court will order, “including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation”.

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