Tech firm and mobile manufacturer Nokia Corporation is now facing legal scrutiny after a Kenyan company was allowed to privately prosecute its directors for illegal tax records.
Reportedly, a Nairobi court gave Technoservice Ltd. the greenlight to privately prosecute Nokia Corporation and its agents Roscier Attorneys LTS, Rajee Suri and Aapo Saarivity. The company faces charges of unlawfully obtaining its tax filings and records from the Registrar of Companies.
Technoservice filed a complaint stating that Nokia used the information in a case that was pending before the ICC Court of Arbitration pitting the two firms. However, the case was later withdrawn, according to court documents.
The Nairobi court stated that despite filing the complaint with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in December 2018, no steps have been taken to prosecute Nokia or its agents.
“Tax records are confidential, yet it would appear that the applicant’s tax filings were disclosed to the respondents or their representatives who were able to use the records in the ICC arbitration,” Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu said.
“It is therefore confounding why the DPP despite admitting of being aware of the complaint had never taken steps either to direct its investigations or in the alternative prosecuting it anyway,” she added.
Nokia challenged the claims saying the filings were defective and that they were foreigners and therefore required to be served by diplomatic means.
It added that Technoservice was litigious and the case was a demonstration of its owner’s vindictive attitude against Nokia.
What is clear is that the conflict between the two companies is not something new as they had a separate case involving a breach of a partnership contract back in 2006. From what is happening now, the chaos is not likely to end any time soon.