Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has said the sexual assault case facing him at a Nairobi court is a “malicious” afterthought reached to pressure him to drop his extortion and kidnapping complaint against the woman and other prosecution witnesses.
Mr Linturi, who is accused of assaulting another man's wife at a hotel in Nanyuki in January last year, has also questioned in court why the woman made the assault allegations five days after he reported that she and others were extorting Sh1 million from him.
Through lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu, he additionally told court that the decision to charge him emerged from, and was anchored on, his political affiliations.
In his submissions to court, the lawyer has asked the magistrate to allow his request for the prosecution to furnish him with crucial evidence such as photographs and videos of the alleged scene of crime as well as the statements of the complainant and the witnesses.
He also claims that police have deliberately and discriminatorily frustrated investigations into the senator’s complaint involving kidnapping and extortion. He says the police rushed to charge him with sexual assault before fully investigating the incident.
In the criminal case, Mr Linturi is accused of committing an indecent act with an adult on January 30, 2021 at Maiyan Villas Resort in Nanyuki, Laikipia County.
The senator is said to have committed the offence at around 3am, the charge sheet reads. The assault allegedly occurred after Mr Linturi slipped into the married woman’s hotel room bed when her husband was away.
He was charged with two counts -- attempted rape and indecent act, which he denied and is out on a cash bail of Sh200,000.
His lawyer wants to be furnished with the electronic evidence and the statements before the hearing proceeds.
“The prosecution must disclose not only the evidence it intends to adduce in support of the charges against an accused person but also any evidence in its possession which it does not intend to rely on. The prosecution cannot shirk its duty, which exists whether or not a specific request for disclosure is made by the defence,” said the advocate.
He argued that non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence by the prosecution renders a trial unfair, irrespective of the motives for withholding it.
The lawyer claimed that the woman made the sexual assault allegations on February 4, 2021, five days after Mr Linturi’s extortion complaint against her was made.
He said the woman and witnesses recorded their statements with the police on February 18, which was 21 days after the politician lodged the extortion complaint against them.
“The accused person submits that he will be deprived of the right to fair trial if the orders sought in the application (to be furnished with evidence) are not granted because a trial based on the evidence so far presented by the prosecution will lead to this court receiving a materially distorted picture of the case,” argued the advocate.
In the court papers, Mr Linturi says on January 29, 2021, while he was at the hotel, some of people extorted, beat him up and stripped him of his clothes.
He claims that the persons, who are the prosecution witnesses in the assault case, also took pictures and videos of him in the nude and threatened to publish and leak them on various social media platforms unless he paid a ransom of Sh1 million.
On January 30, 2021 he went to Nanyuki Police Station and reported the incident. He says the officer commanding the police station filled a P3 Form for him which facilitated his treatment for the injuries sustained from the beatings. He was treated at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital.
“After treatment, I returned to Nanyuki Police Station, whereupon the DCIO gave me some officers to accompany me to the alleged crime scene. Upon arrival, we found the extorters. The DCIO officers arrested them and recovered, among other documents, the phones with the nude photographs and the videos that they had taken of me,” he narrates.
Court papers indicate that police also found a sum of Sh200,000 that the alleged kidnappers had taken from the politician as deposit on the ransom of Sh1 million.
Also recovered was the agreement that the kidnappers had forced Mr Linturi to sign to acknowledge indebtedness to the woman’s husband for the balance of Sh800,000 and the cheque for Sh800,000 that they had allegedly forced him to write.
Assault and extortion
He adds that the DCI officers at Nanyuki immediately started investigations into the assault and extortion incident and asked him to return on February 5, 2021 for feedback.
However, Mr Linturi says due to an unavoidable parliamentary committee workshop in Mombasa, he did not make it to Nanyuki on February 5, but the officers assured him that the investigations were proceeding well.
He was also informed that they planned to recommend the prosecution of the woman and her witnesses for the extortion and other offences arising from the events of January 30.
But on March 16, 2021, he says, he received a summons to appear at the DCI headquarters to record a statement.
“Upon arrival, I was appalled to learn that the officers at the DCI headquarters had hatched a scheme, in conspiracy with the complainant and other prosecution witnesses, to make me the assailant and the extorters the victims,” says Mr Linturi.
“Specifically, I was dismayed to learn that the DCI had called the file from the Nanyuki DCIO to stall the investigations into my prior complaint and recorded a belated complaint from the complainant and other prosecution witnesses in Nairobi, alleging that I had sexually assaulted her,” he narrates. The case will be mentioned on August 31.