A Nairobi court has allowed a request by prosecutors to detain for three more weeks a computer expert charged last week over the theft of Sh4 billion from the tax agency.
Alex Mutungi Mutuku, 28, was arrested on March 7 and has been battling to be released on bond.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andanyi allowed police to continue detaining Mr Mutuku last week, when he pleaded not guilty to electronic fraud that resulted in the loss of Sh3,985,663,858 from the Kenya Revenue Authority.
On Tuesday, the court said that if investigations are completed before April 17, Mr Mutuku may be released on cash bail of one million shillings.
The fortune was allegedly lost through alleged interference with the tax collector’s computer systems.
His lawyer, Tacey Makori, had protested the request to detain him longer, saying the police had not shown evidence of what had been gathered in the 14 days he had been in custody.
But prosecutors argue Mr Mutuku has the potential to interfere with computer servers remotely, is considered a threat to national security and has been working with suspects who are outside the country.
Prosecutors also told the court that a printout of data from seized items would fill two rooms each measuring 30 by 40 feet.
The magistrate pointed out that cybercrime is a serious offense worldwide and that there is no evidence presented so far showing that the accused had interfered with investigations in his earlier case.
Mr Mutuku has a pending cybercrime case.
He was arrested with six others and they were all first arraigned in a JKIA court on March 8 where Flying Squad police were allowed to detain them for 20 days to wrap up their investigations.
He had sued in the High Court to challenge that directive on March 16 and was directed to take plea on March 21.
The suspects had all been locked up at the Pangani Police Station.
- Alex Mutungi Mutuku (front right) and other suspects appear in a Nairobi court on January 14, 2015 on charges of hacking into NIC bank’s computer database. Mr Mutuku has been accused of hacking into KRA computers.