UPDATE: Echesa appears in court over fake firearms deal – VIDEO
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa appeared before a magistrate’s court in Milimani, Nairobi, on Monday to answer to 12 criminal charges related to fraud.
A foreigner identified as Kozlowski Stanley Bruno was swindled of Sh 11.5 million after being duped in a fake tender worth Sh 39 billion for military equipment.
Other charges included uttering a false document contrary to Section 357 (b) of the Penal Code on February 13, 2020, at the Harambee House Annex, Deputy President Office in town.
Chief Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot was told that the accused person conspired to make documents relating to a restricted and classified tender number HC2019/2016 from the Ministry of Defence contrary to Section 393 of the Penal Code without authority.
Echesa denied the charges ranging from conspiracy to commit a felony by conspiring to make a document with intent to defraud to obtaining money by false pretense.
Lawyers representing Mr Echesa claimed in court that his case was a political witch-hunt.
His legal team wants the case filed before JKIA Law Courts, in which prosecutors had been asked to detain him for 21 days, to be withdrawn first before he is charged at Milimani.
However, the prosecution says the accusations of political persecution have to be put on record in an affidavit for the State to respond.
Mr Echesa is charged alongside three others identified as Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Oyoo and an entity identified as Pzels Co. Limited.
The prosecution has opposed bail saying if released the accused might interfere with witnesses and exhibits.
The court gave the investigative team until 6pm on Monday to conclude a search on Echesa’s home after which they would free them on a Sh1 million police bond.
Echesa and the co accused spent the weekend in police custody after they were arrested on Thursday.
On Sunday detectives raided Echesa’s home and also viewed surveillance footage at Deputy President William Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office on Monday where the former CS is said to have held a meeting regarding the tender.
Additional reporting by Amina Wako