A court has trashed fraud charges filed against former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa.
Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheriuyot acquitted Echesa and three others charged with forgery and impersonation during the controversial Sh39b fake arms deal that rocked headlines in 2019.
In the ruling made on Friday, 3 December 2021, one of the accused – businessman Chrispin Oduor Odipo was found with a case to answer for being in possession of instruments to commit forgery.
In the case, Echesa and his co-accused were charged with conspiracy to commit a felony at the Harambee Annex which houses the office of Deputy President William Ruto.
At the time, the state claimed Echesa and his co-accused had obtained Sh11.5 million from one Kozlowski Stanley Bruno, the CEO of US-based ECO Advanced Technologies firm and Egyptian Mamdough Mostafa Lofty by purporting that they would award him a tender to supply military equipment to Kenyan forces.
But the judge ruled that prosecutors did not present sufficient evidence to prove the charges against Echesa and three others.
He 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.
Echesa and Odipo were charged alongside Kennedy Mboya, Daniel Otieno Omondi alias General Juma and Clifford Okoth.
They faced a total of 15 counts of obtaining money by false pretences and personation.