Echesa and his co-accused granted Sh1 million cash bail
Former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has been released on a Sh1 million cash bail amid investigations into the Sh40 billion arms fraud case.
At the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, Mr Echesa was charged alongside three people – Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth and Kennedy Oyoo.
They all denied charges of conspiring to commit a felony, making a document without authority, obtaining money by pretence, attempting to commit a felony and uttering a false document.
Mr Otieno, Mr Okoth and Mr Oyoo were also released on the same terms.
Mr Echesa’s lawyers asked the court to order the release of two vehicles and firearms seized during a search at his home since they were not mentioned in the charge sheet.
They also sought an order barring discussions in various platforms of matters relating to the case.
The lawyers further asked the court to bar Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Francis Atwoli, who is Secretary-General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu), and other politicians from discussing the matter.
In response, the prosecution argued that the vehicles and firearms were exhibits, so it would be premature to release them.
The prosecution also said evidence on politicians discussing the case needed to be presented in court for them to be barred.
The court declined to gag anyone, saying there is freedom of speech.
Mr Echesa was arrested last Thursday by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives over a Sh40 billion fake military equipment tender.
He was arraigned on Friday morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) court, with police asking the magistrate to be allowed to detain him for 21 days in order to complete investigations.
Senior Principal Magistrate Lucas Onyina allowed police to search Mr Echesa’s, Mr Otieno’s, Mr Okoth’s and Mr Oyoo’s houses.