Reprieve for CS nominee Mithika Linturi as woman drops sexual assault case

Mithika Linturi

Agriculture CS nominee Mithika Linturi. A woman has withdrawn a sexual assault case against him.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

A woman who had accused Agriculture Cabinet secretary nominee Mithika Linturi of sexual assault has withdrawn the criminal case after the two settled the matter out of court ahead of his vetting by Parliament.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Susan Shitubi yesterday allowed the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to drop the criminal charges after the prosecutor, Nyakira Kibera, said he was aware of the woman’s intention not to proceed with the trial.

In an affidavit, the woman said she had discussed the matter with the former senator and agreed to withdraw the case.

When the case came up for mention yesterday, the prosecutor urged the magistrate to drop the case against Mr Linturi as the complainant had voluntarily sought to have the case withdrawn.

"I confirm the parties had agreed to withdraw the complaint and the proceedings against the accused person and the office of the DPP had received an affidavit sworn by the woman on September 1, 2022 and was amenable to the withdrawal of the complaint and the proceedings," said Mr Kibera. 

Withdraw the complaint

He added: "I also examined the complainant on the voluntariness of her decision to withdraw the complaint. She confirmed that she had willingly agreed to withdraw the complaint without any force or threats and that she did not intend to raise any other claim against Mr Linturi in the future."

The magistrate also directed that the former senator be refunded his cash bail of Sh200,000.

The woman, whose name is withheld for legal purposes, had accused Mr Linturi of sneaking into her room at Maiyan Villa’s hotel in Nanyuki on January 30, 2021, and intentionally and unlawfully assaulting her sexually. Her husband was out, it was alleged.

The politician faced another charge of indecently touching the woman without her consent.

But he had denied the charges and accused the woman of extortion as he questioned why she had made the assault allegations five days after he reported that she and others were trying to extort Sh1 million from him.

He also alleged that the case was a “malicious” afterthought to pressure him to drop his extortion and kidnapping complaint against the woman and other prosecution witnesses.

He claimed that the decision to charge him in court was anchored on his political affiliations.

The former senator allegedly committed the offence at around 3am, according to the charge sheet. The assault allegedly occurred after he slipped into the married woman’s hotel bed when her husband was away.

In the court papers, Mr Linturi said that on January 29, 2021, while at the hotel, some people extorted, beat him up, and stripped him of his clothes.

He claimed that the persons, who were prosecution witnesses in the sexual assault case, also took nude pictures and videos of him and threatened to publish and leak them on various social media platforms unless he agreed to pay 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 out a P3 form for him, which facilitated his treatment for the injuries sustained from the beatings alluded to. 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 items, the phones with the nude photographs and the videos that they had taken of me,” he narrated.

Court papers indicate that police also recovered the 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.

He added that the DCIO officers at Nanyuki commenced investigations into the assault and extortion incident and requested him to return on February 5, 2021 for feedback.

However, Mr Linturi said due to an unavoidable parliamentary committee workshop in Mombasa he did not make it to Nanyuki on the said date, but the officers assured him that the investigations were proceeding well.

He was also informed that the officers planned to recommend the prosecution of the woman and her witnesses for extortion and other offences arising from the events of January 30.

But on March 16, 2021 he said he received 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 a conspiracy with the complainant and other prosecution witnesses, to make me the assailant and the extorters the victims,” said 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 said.