AG wants Ruto to defend himself

March 28, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – The Attorney General wants Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei to put Eldoret North MP William Ruto on his defence over a multi million shillings fraud case.

The AG says he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Ruto and his co-accused who include former President Daniel arap Moi’s aide Joshua Kulei and ex Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita have a case to answer over a controversial Sh272 million land transaction.

Senior State Counsel Vincent Wohoro, in his final submissions, said the prosecution had established that the accused sold land hived from Ngong forest and sold it to Kenya Pipeline Limited (KPC) yet it had not been degazetted.

“The prosecution submits that in light of the above there is sufficient evidence to have the accused persons placed on their defence under Section 210 and we so apply,” Mr Wohoro said.

The prosecution called 20 witnesses and tabled 129 documentary exhibits in proof of its case against Mr Ruto, Mr Kulei, Mr Mwaita and companies associated with them. The companies are Berke Commercial Agencies, Priority Limited, Celtic Multysystems Limited. Others are Somog Limited and Sovereign Group Limited.

Mr Wohoro told the court that according to witnesses Kenya Pipeline only learnt that it had bought was not available when it attempted to consolidate the parcels of land.

KPC had paid Sh272 million for the land while evidence tendered showed that the title to the land was held by the Treasury since it was a forestland.

Mr Ruto and his co-accused last week urged the court to set them free under Section 210 without having to call on them to defend themselves.

Through his lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, Mr Ruto had said that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove a case against him saying the charges were brought for malice and ill thought. He said the decision to prosecute him was a tragic gamble with his liberty and reputation.

“The prosecution was up to no good in commencing these criminal proceedings. They were activated by malice and motivated by extraneous considerations," he said.

Mr Ruto and his co-accused persons want to be acquitted under Section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code for lack of evidence.

Section 210 states that at the close of the evidence in support of the charge, and after hearing such summing up submission or argument as the prosecutor and the accused person or his advocate may wish to put forward, it appears to the court that a case is not made out against the accused person sufficiently to require him to make a defence, the court shall dismiss the case and shall forthwith acquit him.

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei will make his ruling on April 12.

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