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Sh40 billion arms racket: Echesa denies fraud charges

Wednesday March 18 2020
By MAUREEN KAKAH
By JOSEPH WANGUI

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa appeared before a magistrate's court in Milimani, Nairobi, on Monday where he and three others denied criminal charges related to fraud.

Mr Echesa was charged alongside Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Oyoo with conspiring to commit a felony, making a document without authority, obtaining money by false pretence, attempting to commit a felony and uttering a false document.

They denied all the charges.

"POLITICAL PERSECUTION"

Lawyers representing Mr Echesa claimed in court that his case was a political witch-hunt.

In the morning, his legal team said it wanted the case filed before the JKIA court, in which prosecutors were asked to detain him for 21 days, withdrawn before he is charged at Milimani.

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However, the prosecution said the accusations of political persecution had to be put on record in an affidavit for the State to respond.

Later in the afternoon, magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot dismissed objections raised by lawyers representing Mr Echesa, saying he will not suffer any prejudice and directing him to take plea immediately.

AFFIDAVIT

The court adjourned for 10 minutes for prosecution to properly file an affidavit against bond for the former CS and his co-accused.

When the session resumed, however, the magistrate that the filed document lacked a date.

Defence lawyers asked the court to reject the affidavit, saying admitting it would be a violation of the law.

They also faulted the prosecution for arraigning the four on Monday instead of Tuesday, directed in the case before the JKIA court.

ARREST

Mr Echesa was arrested last Thursday by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives over a Sh40 billion fake military tender.

He was arraigned on Friday morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) court, with police asking the magistrate to be allowed to detain him for 21 days in order to complete investigations.

Senior Principal Magistrate Lucas Onyina allowed police to search Mr Echesa, Mr Otieno, Mr Okoth and Mr Oyoo's houses.

The prosecution wants the four denied bond on grounds that they will interfere with witnesses and evidence.

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