A magistrate court has acquitted former Sports CS Rashid Echesa in Sh 39 billon firearms fraud charges allegedly committed at Harambee Annex which houses the office of the Deputy President William Ruto.
Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheriuyot ruled that prosecutors did not present sufficient evidence to prove the charges against Echesa and three others.
Echesa had been accused of defrauding the monies from two foreigners through a multi-billion contract to supply military equipment.
While discharging the former CS and his co-accused persons, the magistrate ruled that prosecutors failed to avail the key witnesses in the matter including the two foreigners namely Kozlowski Stanley Bruno, the CEO of US based ECO Advanced Technologies firm and Egyptian Mamdough Mostafa Lofty who are the complainants in the matter.
"I have considered the evidence tabled in court and find the first four accused persons with no case to answer and are hereby acquitted "ruled the magistrate.
However, magistrate Cheruiyot has found one of the accused persons namely Chrispin Oduor Odipo with a case to answer in three counts for being in possession of instruments to commit forgery offences.
The magistrate blamed the prosecution for allowing the two foreign businessmen to leave the country without giving their evidence in the matter.
He also noted that the evidence tabled in court including the CCTV footage from the Office of the Deputy President only show Echesa's arrival with the two European men and leaving and nothing more.
"The footage did not show Echesa and his visitors committing any offence," notes Cheriuyot.
The court noted that according to the evidence on record the deputy president was not aware of the visitors in his office at Harambe house.
In the case Echesa and Odipo were charged alongside Kennedy Mboya, Daniel Otieno Omondi alias General Juma and Clifford Okoth. They faced 15 counts of making a false document and conspiracy to commit a felony, obtaining money by false pretenses and personation.