Rashid Echesa cleared of wrongdoing in Sh39bn arms deal saga

Echesa was acquitted by Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot in a ruling delivered late Friday evening.

Mr Cheruiyot said the prosecution failed to prove a case against the former Sports CS.

However, Mr Cheruiyot put businessman Chrispin Oduor Odipo on his defence for being in possession stamps from the Department of Defence (DoD).

The prosecution called a total of 18 witnesses whom the court ruled did not show Mr Echesa was linked to the arms deal in which two international foreigners were conned.

While discharging the former CS, Mr Cheruiyot said the state failed to produce key witnesses in the matter, including the two foreigners —Kozlowski Stanley Bruno, the CEO of US based ECO Advanced Technologies firm and Egyptian Mamdough Mostafa Lofty — to testify in the case.

Mr Echesa and three others, who were defended by lawyers Evans Ondieki and Dancan Okatch, were cleared of charges of fraud, forgery and impersonation for lack of evidence.

Failed to call key witnesses

“The prosecution failed to call key witnesses… who would have shed light on how the arms deal was clinched. In the absence of such testimony against Echesa, I acquit him under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” said Mr Cheruiyot.

He was also cleared Mr Echesa of another indictment of conspiracy to commit a felony by making a document with intent to defraud.

The accused were alleged to have obtained Sh11.5 million from Kozlowski Stanley Bruno by purporting that they would award him a tender to supply military equipment.

Mr Echesa denied impersonating Deputy President William Ruto’s personal assistant. The accused had been charged with attempting to defraud the complainants Sh39 billion in the arms deal.

Among the witnesses called in the case were three Kenya Army officers, a pilot and employees of the office of the deputy president.

The alleged arms deal was allegedly orchestrated at the office of the DP.

The complainants were allegedly taken to the office of the DP where they were to meet him and seal the deal.

The DP did not show up in his office on the intended day.

The magistrate directed the cash bails and or bonds deposited in court by the accused persons be refunded to them.

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