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Australian businessman acquitted of Sh4.5mn criminal case

Stephen Mark Llyod was facing accusations of receiving US$33,000 between November 26 and 30, 2010, an amount which he was to pay back at an interest rate of 50 percent within 28 day of receipt, according to the prosecution side/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – An Australian national accused of obtaining money by false pretence has been acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove its case.

Stephen Mark Llyod was facing accusations of receiving US$33,000 between November 26 and 30, 2010, an amount which he was to pay back at an interest rate of 50 percent within 28 day of receipt, according to the prosecution side.

Evidence produced in court however established that two foreign investors, Charlotte Bilstedfelt and Susan Barris, who are the defendants in the case credited the said money to the bank account of an entity known as Stephen Mineral Limited whose three directors — Stephen Paino, Michael Lynch and Stephen Kariuki – were not accused of the crime said to have occurred in Karen, Nairobi.

“The complainants admitted before the court that they never gave the money directly or indirectly to the accused or deposited into his bank account, instead the money was transferred to the bank of accounts of Stephen Minerals Limited whom the investigator did not charge,” observed trial Magistrate Roselyn Oganyo.

The Magistrate questioned the contradicting accounts of events by the prosecution which had earlier indicated that the said money was remitted in US dollars only for it to be said that the money was given to the accused in local currency.
The court ordered the immediate release of money held as cash bail and that the accused be at liberty to fly in and out of the country following the dismissal of the case.

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