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Kenya drops charges against officials due to testify against ex-finance minister

PUBLISHED: Tue, 12 Jan 2021 12:58:05 GMT

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By Humphrey Malalo

NAIROBI, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Kenya dropped charges on Tuesday against two senior former officials who prosecutors said had agreed to provide testimony against a former finance minister and others accused of corruption over the awarding of tenders to build two dams.

Kamau Thugge, at the time the number two official at the finance ministry, and Susan Koech, an official at the tourism ministry, were among a number of officials charged in the case a year ago, including then-Finance Minister Henry Rotich.

“I have withdrawn charges against Thugge and Koech on instructions from Director of Public Prosecutions,” said Alexander Muteti, a deputy assistant public prosecutor. “The two former top government officials will now testify in the trial against the former finance minister and others charged.”

The case stemmed from an investigation into the misuse of funds in two dam projects planned in western Kenya, overseen by Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna. Rotich, the other officials and the company have all denied wrongdoing.

Muteti said Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti had accepted his request to halt the case against Thugge and Koech. The case against Rotich and the other remaining officials charged will be back in court next month.

East Africa’s largest economy has over the years grappled with widespread corruption. The government has promised to bring hundreds of suspects to account over the last three years, but cases so far have yet to result in significant convictions. (Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Omar Mohammed; Editing by George Obulutsa)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions – https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html


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