June 19, 2018 / 10:21 AM / a year ago

Suspects bailed in $100 million Kenyan graft case

FILE PHOTO: Kenya's National Youth Service director Richard Ndubai and his deputy director Sammy Michuki are handcuffed in the dock inside the Mililani Law Courts where they were charged among other government officials amid an investigation into the theft of public funds, in Nairobi, Kenya May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

NAIROBI (Reuters) - More than 40 suspects in a $100 million (£75.9 million) Kenyan graft case, including state workers and business people, were given bail on Tuesday.

The 43 suspects were arrested in late May during investigations into money lost at the government-run National Youth Service training scheme.

They are facing charges including abuse of office and conspiracy to commit an economic crime, but have denied any wrongdoing.

“Even as I grant bail, I am alive to the seriousness of the charges the applicants and the co-accused are facing,” Justice Hedwig Ong’udi said as she ordered them released.

She said she did not see a reason why they should not be offered bail.

Kenya is currently being roiled by a new spate of scandals involving bogus tenders and suppliers that allegedly resulted in the theft of hundreds of millions of shillings by state officials from several government bodies.

President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to stamp out graft when he was first elected in 2013 but critics say he has been slow to pursue top officials and ministers.

Kenyatta, who was elected for a second term last year, has spoken out recently against graft and urged the judiciary “to ensure fair trials and justice”.

Reporting by Humphey Malalo and George Obulutsa; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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