, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 4 – Tinderet Member of Parliament Henry Kosgey on Tuesday denied 12 counts of abuse of office leveled against him at the anti-corruption court in Nairobi.
Mr Kosgey who had earlier in the day, quit office as Industrialisation Minister was granted a cash bail of Sh2 million and the case is due in court on March 2nd.
Charges against him state that he irregularly gave exemption for the importation 123 units of motor vehicles which are over-age. Kenyan laws state that a vehicle that is more than eight years is not road worthy.
The vehicles imported into the country between November 2009 and June 2010 belonged to various individuals and companies.
The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) has lined up Industrialisation Permanent Secretary Eng Karanja Kibicho and Prof John Lonyangapuo who once served as PS in the Ministry to testify against Mr Kosgey.
"I wish to state that my actions in this matter are above reproach, because I have committed no wrongdoing," he said and added: "It is also important to note that no money, not even a single cent was lost by the government in connection with any of these exemptions," said the Former Industrialisation Minister.
This, he said, was not a case of misappropriation of funds or corruption “in the way that most people understand the term to mean.”
The ODM chairman announced on Tuesday morning that he had opted to quit his position as Industrialisation Minister until the case against him is heard and determined.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is in Ivory Coast said he had accepted Mr Kosgey\’s decision to vacate office after consultations with President Mwai Kibaki.
Mr Kosgey had earlier told a news conference he was innocent and vowed to mount a strong defense to clear his name in court.
"The exemptions that I granted were based on a legal notice which provides me with the powers to give such exemptions," he said.
"I look forward to presenting my defence in court and I am confident that I will be vindicated in the fullness of time," he added.
Apart from the latest charges, Mr Kosgey is among six individuals named by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo last year as those bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2008 post-election violence.
Mr Kosgey has equally defended himself against the allegations of crimes against humanity which ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo has levelled against him.
Mr Ocampo has presented Kosgey\’s case alongside those of five other suspects to the pre-trial chamber seeking permission to prosecute them.
Other suspects accused of crimes against humanity over the poll violence include Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura, Suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, former police commissioner Hussein Ali and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.