Echesa, three others granted bail in Sh39 billion fraud case
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and three others were Monday charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and attempting to obtain over Sh 39.5 billion from Kozlowski Stanley Bruno by falsely pretending that he would be awarded a tender by the state Department iof Defence to supply military equipment.
Echesa is jointly charged alongside Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Oyoo Mboya.
All the accused persons, who appeared before Milimani senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot, denied 12 counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, making a document without authority and obtaining Sh11.5 million from Kozlowski Bruno by falsely pretending that they will award him with a tender to supply military equipment.
Echesa alone denied another charge of impersonating to be Deputy President William Ruto's personal assistant (PA).
He is said to have presented himself to Bruno and Mamdough Mostafa Amer Lofty to be a person employed in the public service as PA to DP.
While Daniel Otieno Omondi alias General Juma impersonated to be general Juma from Kenya Dence Forces and he was in position to award Bruno and Lofty a tender for supply, delivery, installation, commissioning and maintenance of integrated and security surveillance system.
The prosecution led by assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Jacinta Nyamosi and senior state counsel Kennedy Panyako opposed bail application by defence saying the accused if released will interfere with scene of crime and witnesses.
But defence lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Evans Ondieki and Brian Khaemba dismissed the allegations by the state saying there is no compelling reasons why they should be granted bail.
But their lawyers led by Cliff Ombeta told court that the State should prove that the accused will interfere but not base their argument on assumptions.
Cheruiyot said he has considered the arguments and finds that the officers have not named the crime scenes that the accused will interfere with.
"It has not been denied that the searches in their homes have already been conducted as alleged by defense. There being no compelling reason then the court will determine what bond to grant the accused persons," the magistrate said.
He added: "They are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I find it fair and reasonable to pay Sh1 Million cash bail or a bond of Sh3 Million".
The case will be mentioned on March 3.