This follows an order issued by Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday, October 14, ordering for the ex-Kemri Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to be escorted to prison.
According to Senior Principal Magistrate, Victor Wakumile, the court decided to jail Koech after he failed to pay a fine totaling to Ksh19.6 million he was slapped with after he was found guilty of acquiring public funds through fraudulent means.
Wakumile stated that the former Kemri Boss had been given time from September 15 to October 14 to pay the fine or go to jail.
“Having given Koech more time to pay the fine in two tranches of Ksh 9.6 million to avoid going to jail, he has not complied with orders. I therefore order him to start his jail term from today,” ruled the magistrate.
While making the ruling on September 15, the magistrate had initially spared the septuagenarian from a prison sentence. Quoting Article 29 of the constitution, the magistrate stated that the former CEO was 70 years of age and could not be subjected to “cruel treatment” by being handed over to prison authorities.
“Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic this court takes judicial notice of the difficult economic times people are undergoing through I find it fit to exercise my discretion and show mercy to Koech, now 70,”Wakumile had said in his judgement.
He noted that the law requires them to show mercy and compassion while administering justice.
In addition, Koech had also returned the research money he had acquired through corruption to the government with interest. Dr Koech was convicted and sentenced on three counts of acquiring public property.
He was charged on August 17, 2006 in Nairobi with fraudulently acquiring Ksh800,000 the property of Kemri. On December 12 2006 he was convicted of irregularly acquiring Ksh6 million. He was also charged with corruptly acquiring Ksh12.5million from the research institution.
The alternative counts were that he used his office to corruptly confer to himself monies held in the account of Vector Biological and Control Research (VBCR).
The magistrate said the Economic and Anti-Corruption Act (Aceca) requires offenders to be punished to serve as a lesson to would-be offenders. In all the three counts and their alternatives, he was ordered to pay the mandatory fine of Ksh100,000 or serve a jail term of 12 months.