NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The police on Wednesday announced that they had recovered items belonging to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta that went missing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) last week.
Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the items which included one leather bag, two iPads, three external hard disks, one data processor, two mobile phones and computer accessories, were found in various places within the city.
He again refuted claims that Sh840 million went missing during the incident.
"The complainant has positively identified them as the ones that were stolen. The items in question are here for all to see and you can even see the bag in which they were fitted and as we had earlier confirmed, there was no money at all," he claimed.
While addressing journalists in Nairobi, Mr Kiraithe added that nine Kenyans had been arrested in connection with the theft and that four of them had already been arraigned in court.
He pointed out that some of the suspects were arrested at the airport while others were nabbed in Nyahururu. He added that the police had also collected forensic evidence to prove their case.
"The four were charged earlier this morning in court and they pleaded not guilty. The others were interviewed separately and some of them recorded statements. We believe we have adequate evidence to sustain a strong case for the prosecution," he said.
The police spokesman further cautioned journalists against publishing reports that were misleading.
"I think maybe the crime reporters should not get tired of walking the straight and narrow; it might not be very sensational but at least we have a responsibility to be very truthful, especially as we approach 2012," he said.
He explained that the theft occurred on April 11 and was immediately reported by Mr Jomo Gechaga – an aide to the Deputy Premier.
Journalists from the Standard Group broke the story on April 15 indicating that one of the ICC suspects lost Sh840 million at the JKIA after arriving from the Court.
Even though the story did not name the person who lost the items, Mr Kenyatta then came out stating that the report in the Standard newspaper referred to him. He termed it an \’atrocious falsehood and part of the current conspiracy to discredit him\’ adding that he had advised his lawyers to take legal action against the media house.
One journalist and two editors at the Standard were also summoned and grilled by the CID over the story.
On Tuesday the Central Organisation of Trade Unions called on the police not to harass the said journalists. The Kenya Editors\’ Guild also came out defending the journalists saying that they did not mention the deputy Premier in their report.
"The article in question did not name the person who allegedly lost the money, but Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta subsequently volunteered that he was the one being referred to," said the Editors\’ Guild chairman Macharia Gaitho.
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