Beseiged Kuria alleges cover-up at inquiry
By EMMANUEL ONYANGO, MAXWELL MASAVA
July 12 2006
Senior Counsel Gibson Kamau Kuria was yesterday reprimanded by the
Kiruki commission for misusing his presence at the inquiry to push
the agenda of the Armenian brothers through shrewd cross examination
Kuria who represents Winnie Wangui, daughter of Narc activist Mary
Wambui, was further faulted for wasting the commission’s limited time
frame through his lengthy, and at times digressing cross-examination.
So grave were the accusations against Kuria, that commissioner Ahmed
Isaac Hassan interjected and asked him to clarify on whether he had
been instructed by Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan to represent
them at the inquiry.
Kuria has in previous sessions overtly defended the activities of
the Artur brothers during the infamous security breach at the Jomo
Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), contending that the duo had been
provoked by the public and Customs officers into drawing out guns. The
lawyer has also been accusing Customs officers who had witnessed the
standoff of making up tales in order to fix the Armenians.
Trouble started in yesterday’s session when Kuria, during
cross-examination, accused Charles Nambale – the Customs officer
assaulted by Artur Margaryan, of being in the payroll of unknown
politicians who had instructed him on what to say.
"I put it to you Nambale, that you are in the payroll of politicians
who have instructed you on what to say. I also put it to you that
you and Ochieng, created this fiction of a person drawing guns at
the airport," he thundered.
Assisting Counsel Dorcas Oduor immediately interjected to seek for
the commission’s ruling on whether Kuria should be allowed to roam at
large in his cross-examination, or whether he should restrict himself
on matters touching on his client.
Oduor: Honourable commissioners, I don’t wish to interrupt the
cross-examination, but it is an opportune time that Dr Kamau defines
the description of his client. It also time for the commission to
tell us the scope of his cross-examination.
Kuria: As an officer to this commission, I’m trying to assist the
commission to discover the truth. My client has been portrayed to the
public media of being involved with the men who did these things. My
client has been given the opportunity by law to defend her dignity
and I have a duty to clear her name.
Otherwise if cross-examination is not allowed and things remain as
the media has been saying, then even the Assisting Counsel will be
involved in a cover up.
Etemesi (Commissioner): Dr Kuria, I have repeatedly heard you saying
‘My instructions are that the Customs officer refused to prepare
an inventory for the luggage that were seized.’ Are these what your
client told you?
Kuria: One of the witnesses assisting my client (Winnie) has provided
information to the effect that the refusal to have an inventory
prepared is what sparked off the incident.
My client has investigated the matter and has information on what
happened, and it is through cross-examination that we can verify
Hassan (Commissioner): It would appear, therefore, that if you continue
this way you will be appearing for the Artur bothers. This Commission
has previously had lawyers who have come to represent the brothers
and then vanish. Have you received instructions from the Arturs?
Kuria: I have no instructions from the Arturs. But I have a duty as
an officer of this court to help the Commission to get to the bottom
of this evidence.
Hassan: But you should not misuse your leave to appear before this
commission. You should also not be misused by other people who are
not before this commission.