The magistrate who acquitted former Sports CS Rashid Echesa in the Sh39 billion fake arms scandal has been suspended.
Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot delivered the ruling on Friday at 7.30 pm past operating hours. Courts operate between 9 am and 5 pm from Monday to Friday.
Cheruiyot acquitted Echesa on grounds that the State did not avail key witnesses in the matter who included the two foreigners that were allegedly swindled.
The magistrate ruled that there was no evidence to put the accused on their defense.
“The prosecution failed to call key witnesses who would have shed light on how the arms deal was clinched. In the absence of such testimony against Echesa, I acquit him under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” said Mr Cheruiyot.
The complainants in the case were; Kozlowski Stanley Bruno, the CEO of US based ECO Advanced Technologies firm and Egyptian Mamdough Mostafa Lofty.
Echesa’s co-accused, Chrispin Odipo, was, however, put on his defense for being in possession of instruments to commit forgery.
Echesa and the three other accused persons were acquitted of fraud, forgery and impersonation charges.
The former minister was facing Conspiracy to commit a felony, obtaining money by face pretences, making a false document and personation charges.
The magistrate directed the cash bails and or bonds deposited in court by the accused persons be refunded to them.