Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Richard Echesa’s brief respite from legal proceedings has come to an end, as the High Court at Milimani overturned his previous acquittal in a case related to a fictitious arms deal worth Sh39 billion.

Initially, in December 2021, Echesa had been cleared of the charges associated with the alleged fake arms deal. Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot, presiding over the case, had cited the prosecution’s failure to present sufficient evidence against Echesa as grounds for his acquittal.

However, dissatisfied with the decision, the Prosecution swiftly moved to the High Court, seeking to challenge and reverse Echesa’s acquittal.

In delivering the judgment, Judge Kanyi Kimondo scrutinized the trial magistrate’s ruling, identifying errors in the acquittal process. The judge asserted that the prosecution had indeed presented a compelling case against Echesa, implying that the trial court should have pursued further legal action rather than granting acquittal based on insufficient testimonies.

Consequently, Judge Kimondo ordered Echesa to appear before the Milimani Chief Magistrate on March 4 for further directions regarding his defense hearing in the arms scandal case.

The charges against Echesa and his co-accused, including Daniel Otieno, Clifford Okoth, Kennedy Oyoo, and Chrispin Oduor Odipo, stem from allegations of conspiracy to commit a felony, forgery, obtaining money by false pretense, and other fraud-related offenses related to the purported arms deal.

During the trial, businessman Chrispin Oduor was found to have a case to answer, particularly concerning possession of forged documents, while Echesa and the other defendants faced multiple charges of fraud.

The accusations against Echesa revolve around allegations of defrauding Eco Advanced Technologies by falsely promising assistance in securing an arms tender at the Ministry of Defense. Echesa purportedly received consultancy fees amounting to Sh11.5 million for his involvement in the dubious transaction.

The foreign representatives from the US and Poland-based company involved in the purported deal asserted that Echesa had assured them of leveraging his influence to secure the lucrative security tender, which allegedly involved supplying military surveillance equipment, firearms, and ammunition to the government.

With the overturning of Echesa’s acquittal, the legal proceedings against him and his co-accused are set to resume, signifying a renewed effort by the prosecution to pursue justice in the complex case surrounding the alleged fake arms deal.

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