Deputy President William Ruto may be back in the corridors of justice after the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officers reopened an old land fraud case in which the DP is alleged to have defrauded a government agency of Ksh 272 million.
The Standard, on Wednesday, January 22, reported that nine years ago (2011), Ruto and his co-accused were acquitted of selling land to Kenya Pipeline Corporation which the Government argued was hived off Ngong Forest. The three were let go due to lack of evidence.
People Daily added that the sale of the 1.75 hectares of land was ungazetted.
Ruto and Berke Commercial agencies, linked to former President Daniel arap Moi’s private secretary Joshua Kulei and former Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita, alongside two other firms were sued for allegedly obtaining money from KPC between August 6 and September 6, 2001.
On Monday, January 21, one Paul Chirchir with his lawyer Katwa Kigen, visited the DCI offices along Kiambu Road for questioning.
"I appeared before the detective on Monday. They wanted to know the names of directors of the firms and how much they each received. They also asked for documentation on the sale agreement.
"All these were on trial in the case prosecuted by then CID from 2004 to 2011. The DCI couldn't say the motive for the unorthodox attempt to re-open the case," Kigen stated.
Out the Kshs 272 million, Ruto had been suspected to have bagged Ksh 43 million.
"The contention of selling land without being procedurally excised from Ngong Forest was the basis of drafting the charges. The letter to hive off the forest land was signed by the then Forestry minister and 33 parcels of land allocated to various companies, and the consent to hive off part of the forest were obtained from the Commissioner of Lands.
"The prosecution failed to produce in court the then Finance Manager Hellen Njue to give her evidence on how she paid out the money. It is, therefore, clear that none of the accused ever received any money from KPC. The prosecution has failed to prove its case, thus all the accused persons have no case to answer," Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei stated.
A source who spoke to The Standard while seeking anonymity disclosed that several individuals, including a High Court judge, had been lined up for grilling, however, the DCI had not yet decided to grill Ruto.
"For now, not yet. But if and when need be, we will cross the bridge. We are now on those who handled the issue," the source intimated.
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