SAM KIPLAGAT

By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The prosecution has been given two weeks to supply witness statements and others exhibits its officers will be relying upon in the trial of Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja and her husband James Karanja Muigai.

Appearing before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku on Monday for the mention of the case, the prosecution was told to supply the documents by September 16. The pretrial was set for September 24.

Last week, Ms Karanja and Mr Muigai pleaded not guilty to tax evasion charges and were released on bail.

Ms Karanja further denied the charges on behalf of the company since four other directors were not in court.

The charges stated that the accused were involved in fraud by posting incorrect statements on excise duty by reducing the company’s tax liability.

They are alleged to have committed the offences between February 20, 2015, and July 20, 2019. The amount involved is Sh14.5 billion.

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Chief magistrate Francis Andayi directed Mr Muigai to post Sh2 million bail and Ms Karanja was to deposit Sh10 million, and a further Sh15 million bail on behalf of the company.

In her defence, Ms Karanja said Keroche has existed for 22 years during which it has gained and solidified a reputation of a champion of local entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, the pretrial against businessman Humphrey Kariuki, who has denied 21 counts of tax evasion amounting to Sh41 billion, will be held on September 5.

Mr Kariuki, Mr Stuart Gerald Herd, Mr Robert Thinji and Mr Peter Njenga Kuria and Wow beverages have denied charges of fraud, tax evasion, aiding in tax evasion and possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps.

The court heard that they were found in possession of reels of counterfeit excise stamps and thousands of assorted bottles of spirits affixed with counterfeit stamps.

It is also alleged that they failed to pay taxes amounting to Sh17.7 billion between February 1, 2016, and December 31, 2018.

They also allegedly failed to remit VAT on different dates.