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  Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Ruto now charged with Sh96m fraud
By Judy Ogutu

Eldoret North MP William Ruto is now facing a Sh96 million fraud charge up from the initial Sh77 million.

The MP had been accused of fraudulently obtaining Sh77,641,146 from former Kenya Pipeline Company finance manager, Hellen Njue in 2001.

Now it is alleged he obtained Sh96,628,049 from the same person during the same period.

The charges against Ruto, retired President Moi’s former personal aide, Joshua Kulei and former Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita were consolidated yesterday after a successful application by the deputy chief State counsel, Horrace Okumu before a city court.

The magistrate retained the previous bond terms for the trio, whereby Kulei is out on a bail of Sh3 million with a surety of the same amount and Ruto and Mwaita of Sh 5 million each.

Their lawyers, Pravin Bowry, Ochieng Oduol and Julius Sunkuli, did not raise any objection to the cases being consolidated.

The latest development means that Kulei, Ruto and Mwaita will be tried together when their case begins on October 6.
Kulei is alleged to have stolen Sh58,753,247 belonging to Kenya Pipeline between August 6 and September 6, 2001. He allegedly stole the cash jointly with Sovereign Group Limited, and other persons not before the court.

Ruto, a former Cabinet minister, is alleged to have fraudulently obtained the cash from Ms Njue jointly with four other companies: Berke Commercial Agencies, Priority Limited, Celtic Multisystems Limited and Somog Limited.

They allegedly did so by falsely pretending they were in a position to sell the oil company Government land situated in Ngong forest.

Mwaita is facing four charges where he allegedly abused the authority of his office by consenting to transfer pieces of Government land within the said forest.

It is claimed he disregarded the fact that Ngong forest had not been degazetted and went ahead to consent to the transfer of the land from the four companies to KPC on July 16, 2001. The abuse of office charges against Mwaita were yesterday dropped from a record 29 to four.



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