Kenyan Court Acquits Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of $60M Corruption Case
A Kenyan court on Thursday, November 10th, granted a public prosecutor’s motion to drop a $60 million corruption prosecution against Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua due to insufficient evidence.
Gachagua, a former congressman, was among nine people accused of corruption last July. He has publicly denied the charges, saying he did nothing wrong.
The anti-corruption magistrate Victor Wakumile declared in his decision on Thursday that “the application of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is hereby granted.” He added that “the accused persons are hereby warned and informed that they may be re-arrested in the future under the same or similar charges.”
DPP Noordin Haji had requested earlier this month that the court withdraw the corruption charges brought against Gachagua due to a dearth of supporting evidence.
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Prosecutors have dropped multiple cases against several of Kenyan President William Ruto’s associates under his administration for similar reasons.
Aisha Jumwa, the current cabinet secretary, was accused of embezzling $155,700 in shillings, but Haji filed a request to drop the charges against her in October. The lawsuit against Moses Lenolkulal, the former governor of Samburu County who had been shortlisted for the position of principal secretary but was dropped due to the public prosecutor’s influence, was similarly dropped.
A different judgment from a Kenyan court in July mandated Gachagua to pay back 202 million shillings ($1.65 million), which the court found to be the proceeds of corruption.
Gachagua claimed at the time that the verdict was designed to derail his campaign for the August 9 election as Ruto’s running mate.