Questions as PS Kibicho’s name dropped in DP Ruto fake assassination letter case

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 14:00 | By
State House Digital Communications director Dennis Itumbi (right) and his co-accused Samuel Gateri at Milimani Law Courts during the hearing of a case in which they have been charged with publishing a false document. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

By Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho was the complainant in a case on a fake letter detailing an alleged ploy to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto, but his name was later dropped.

Investigating Officer Yvonne Anyango told the court that Kibicho’s name was dropped because the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) did not find it unnecessary in the case.

She was testifying in a case in which State House Digital Communications director Dennis Itumbi  and Samuel Gateri was charged with making a false document—the letter dated May 30, 2019—and publishing a false statement.

Itumbi’s lawyer Katwa Kigen asked Anyango why Kibicho’s name was dropped yet he was supposed to be a witness in the case, but she said she did not know.

“I do not know why his name was dropped as a witness,” she told  chief magistrate Martha Mutuku.

The officer also claimed Itumbi’s phone had been reprogrammed at the time she was doing her investigations.

Itumbi faces another count of intentionally reprogramming his mobile phone—a Samsung Note 9—to tamper with some information. “The accused’s phone was repogrammed so that if it is investigated the officers cannot find anything,” she says.

However, Kigen claimed deleting messages is not reprogramming as alleged.

Asked if she interviewed all the 256 people in the Tanga Tanga WhastApp group in which the fake letter was also allegedly circulating, Anyango told the court they only interviewed only four group adminisrators.  The investigating officer also told the court that they did not investigate another group known as Kiambu forum in which the fake letter was also allegedly circulating. 

“I only investigated the Tanga Tanga WhatsApp group where the accused had sent the letter,” she told the court.

Itumbi was arrested on July 3 last year and detained for five days for police to conclude investigations into the letter, which alleged of a plot to assassinate the DP.

On July 10, the prosecution sought an extension of nine more days to detain him but the application was denied by Senior Resident Magistrate Zainab Abdul and released him on Sh100,000 cash bail.

In a previous affidavit, Itumbi had told the court that he has  audio and video recordings of a meeting at a city hotel which reportedly discussed the possibility of assassinating Ruto. 

He, however, said he would not disclose his sources on grounds that he is a journalist and bound by ethics not to disclose them.

Hearing continues today.

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