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New twist as KTN editor claims he planned theft of car with Joy Doreen Biira

A Standard Media Group editor who was on Tuesday charged with stealing a co-worker’s vehicle has introduced a new twist to the case by alleging that it was a planned theft.

Aaron Obudho Ochieng, who is accused of stealing a Mercedes Benz E200 belonging to KTN reporter and news anchor Joy Doreen Biira, has claimed in his statement to the police that they had agreed to have the vehicle reported as missing but that they would end up selling it and use the proceeds to purchase another vehicle.

He alleged that Ms Joy gave him the car keys and assured him that the guards at the gate would never stop the vehicle for inspection.

“With this assurance, I drove the vehicle out of the parking yard at around 7.30pm and true to her words, I was not stopped,” said Mr Ochieng.

SAFELY HIDDEN

He proceeded to park the vehicle around Nyayo estate in Embakasi, Nairobi and got a motorcycle back to the office, where he assured her that he had safely hidden the vehicle.

Mr Ochieng, who is also a news editor in the broadcast side of KTN News, later drove the vehicle to his home after he was done with the 10pm news.

He claimed that they had an agreement that he should stay calm until such a time when, “things would have calmed down,” adding that it is not true that Ms Joy did not know what was happening and that the only mistake he made was to use the vehicle immediately.

“I did not have any bad intention of changing the car registration number, but since I knew the original number had been circulated, I had no option but to change it since I had to use the vehicle for my Christmas trip,” said Mr Ochieng in his statement to the police.

CAR KEYS MISSING

On her part, Ms Joy has claimed that she had on December 23 reported to work driving the car and left her personal effects on her desk. It was until past 10pm, when she was preparing to leave the office that she realized that her car keys were missing from the desk.

“I immediately started to trace all my movements and even asked my colleagues if they had seen my car keys but all was in vain,” said Ms Joy in her statement to the police.

She later checked if the car was at the parking but could not find it. Instead, another car was parked at the very point she had parked hers, prompting her to report to the transport and security officers.

She learnt that the car had actually left the gates and so she reported to the police.

The vehicle valued at Sh2.8 million was stolen from KTN’s parking yard on Mombasa Road on December 23.

Mr Ochieng faces an alternative charge of handling a stolen property. He denied the two charges and was released on a Sh1 million bond or Sh300,000 cash bail.

The case will be mentioned on January 17.