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Why witness in Itumbi ‘assassination letter’ wants to withdraw from case


A prosecution witness in a case blogger Dennis Itumbi has been accused of authoring a letter regarding a plot to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto has filed an application to withdraw from the case.

The witness, Samwel Gateri Wanjiru, has cited threats to his life, including an attempted kidnapping, as grounds for withdrawal.

Gateri is also a member of the now controversial WhatsApp group group dubbed Tanga Tanga.

According to Gateri’s application filed at Milimani Law courts, the prosecution witness claims he was arrested on July 2, 2019 and the officers forcibly seized his cellphones, national identification card and driving license.

He also stated in his application that he was forced to sign a witness statement whose contents he does not know and he now fears the prosecution might use the statement in the case against Itumbi.

“Intended interested party is further concerned that the prosecution will/might rely on statement made by officers drawn from the directorate of criminal investigations and forced into signing contrary to his will,” read the application.

He went on to claim that the officers threatened to execute him if he failed to confirm that he had a telephone conversation with the deputy president through Itumbi as the link.

GROUP ADMINS

All these came to light on Monday during the pre-trial conference.

Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku directed the matter be mentioned on Tuesday, September 3.

Early August the TangaTanga WhatsApp group admins were also asked to report to DCI headquarters in regards to Itumbi’s case.

Their phones were confiscated and were released after hours of questioning.

All the four admins were present during the pre-trial conference.