The police have reopened investigations into an old case involving Deputy President William Ruto and the controversial sale of land to a State corporation.
Dr Ruto was acquitted in 2011 of fraud charges following the 2001 sale of land to Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) that the State contested was hived off Ngong Forest.
Kenyanbulletin.com has established that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has opened fresh investigation into claims of conspiracy to defraud in the Sh272 million land deal.
Detectives, in particular, are interested in the money trail that would establish the recipients of the funds.
Ruto and two co-accused were cleared for lack of evidence as the court ruled the prosecution failed to demonstrate that the accused ever received money from KPC.
Among those who have been summoned and questioned in the new probe are directors of companies that were involved in the sale of the land, and lawyers who handled the transactions.
On Monday, a director of a firm associated with the DP – Priority Ltd – was questioned at DCI headquarters in Nairobi. Paul Chirchir visited the offices accompanied by his lawyer, Katwa Kigen, in the afternoon.
Mr Chirchir partially recorded a statement before asking for more time to consult his lawyers on the way forward.
Mr Kigen confirmed he accompanied Chirchir to DCI offices for the grilling. He said in principal they have reservations about the reopening of a case that had already been concluded in court.
“It is true that officers from DCI, particularly Chief Inspector Patrick Maloba, asked for my clients and we turned up with a director, Mr Paul Chirchir, on Monday,” Kigen said.
He disclosed that the officer explained that they are reviewing the case, No 973 of 2004, that was investigated and prosecuted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and ended with an acquittal in 2011.
“He wants to know who signed the sale agreements and who was paid for the sale. All these were on trial in the case prosecuted by the CID from 2004 to 2011. The DCI couldn’t say the motive for the unorthodox, and in my view vain, attempt to re-open the case,” Kigen said.
Ruto was in April 2011 acquitted of Sh43 million land fraud charges for lack of evidence. His co-accused, Joshua Kulei and Sammy Mwaita, were also let off.
They had been charged with fraudulently obtaining Sh272 million from KPC by selling it plots in the Ngong Forest.