Ruto in court over fraud claim

Suspended Higher Education minister William Ruto (right) and his co- accused Joshua Kulei (centre) and Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita (left) in court October 26, 2010. PAUL WAWERU

A Sh96 million fraud case against suspended minister William Ruto will be heard for 12 days in January.

And the first state witness will testify against Mr Ruto on January 24. This was communicated to Mr Ruto by Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei on Tuesday when the politician attended court for the first time in relation to the case.

The state law office too said it intends to line up 34 witnesses to prove its case against Mr Ruto and four others. The others include Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita and former President Daniel Moi’s aide Joshua Kulei.

Mr Ruto and four other persons were appearing in court in relations to a case filed against them in 2004 in which KPC lost more than Sh272 million in the sale of the plot which was part of Ngong Forest.

Mr Ruto was charged with receiving Sh9.9 million, saying he was in a position to sell the land, belonging to the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. He is alleged to have been paid another Sh57.8 million and Sh28 million for land in the same forest.
Case was never heard

However this case was never heard as the five filed a constitutional reference challenge their prosecution.

This constitutional reference was dismissed on October 15 and Mr Ruto ordered to face the criminal trial. And following this he lost his cabinet position.

On Tuesday, Mr Ruto appeared in court twice because he could not be given a hearing date in the morning due to a hitch involving his court file.

The file presented before the chief magistrate’s court did not have all the documents.

Mr Ruto and his co-accused had come to court following an order by the High Court on October 15 directing the case be taken to chief magistrate’s court to fix hearing dates.

The case will be heard on January 24 to 27, January 31 to February 3 and February 7 to 10.


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