Police turn to FBI for help with DP Ruto ‘death threat’ letter

Thursday June 27 2019

William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

JOHN KAMAU
By JOHN KAMAU
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Detectives have now turned to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help them get to the bottom of the mystery letter that alleged there was a bid by three Cabinet secretaries to assassinate the Deputy President as the issue continues to generate political heat.

HARD COPY

Although Deputy President William Ruto had not recorded any statement by last evening, detectives said they were not in a hurry to talk to him until they authenticate the letter.

“If he records a statement before that, well and good,” said Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti. “But the DP is a senior person and cannot be interrogated on the basis of a document whose authenticity has not been verified.”

On Wednesday, credible sources attached to the Cyber Crime Unit at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations told the Nation that they had approached the FBI due to the sensitivity of the matter and will help them scroll the cyber-systems to determine who downloaded the letter.

But Mr Kinoti could only confirm that the Cyber Crime Unit has been tasked to investigate the matter “and could work with other international institutions”.

For now, investigators are scouring through the State House and Office of the President registry to determine whether the letter was sent, in the first place, as a hard copy.

“What we know at the moment is that the letter was first seen on social media. But we want to determine whether it was sent to the addressee as a hard copy,” said Mr Kinoti.

Mr Kinoti said that, once they have a suspect, they will then invite the Cabinet ministers named in the letter to record statements.

“We have told them that we shall call them back here to record statements once we determine the authenticity of the letter,” said the DCI.

STATEMENT

On Monday, three Cabinet members from Central Kenya appeared at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to record statements after the letter appeared online. They are Peter Munya (Industry), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and Joe Mucheru (ICT). The mystery letter had accused them of plotting to assassinate the Deputy President during a series of meetings held at Hotel La Mada.

While they admitted that they had been having meetings at the hotel, they said it was meant to discuss Mt Kenya development matters.

But without any formal complaint filed, the trio did not record any statement. On Wednesday, the DCI denied claims that he had approached the Deputy President to record a statement and said that he had not yet spoken to him.

“We can only ask for a statement from him once we determine whether the letter is genuine or mischievous. But we are treating it seriously since it touches on the life of the Deputy President of the country,” said Mr Kinoti.

Besides investigating the origin and author of the letter, detectives want to understand “the motive of the content”.

“We cannot dismiss that letter as fake until we establish where it came from. At this moment, we are treating the letter as a document of interest,” he said.