The Star: Ruling on Ruto's Sh96m KPC land in February

JUDGES will in February decide whether to stop a Sh96 million KPC land case against Agriculture Minister William Ruto.

Judges Jane Gacheche, Leonard Njagi and Roselyne Wendoh yesterday set the verdict date for February 2.

This follows the final submissions from Ruto's lawyer Katwa Kigen.

Kigen said Ruto has asked the high court to stop the case.

He had argued that the case was instituted by Attorney General Amos Wako for ulterior motives.

But Wako said the land sold to the Kenya Pipeline Company by Ruto and his company, Berke Commercial Agencies, was a forest reserve not available for alienation.

State lawyer Vincent Wohoro told the court that the parcel in Ngong' Forest sold to KPC was public land.

The excision, he added, was unlawful because the parcel had not been degazetted. The parcel was sold to KPC through Berke Commercial Agencies whose director is Ruto.

The minister wants the high court to end criminal proceedings at the chief magistrate court, where he has been accused of obtaining Sh96 million by false pretense from the finance manager of Kenya Pipeline Company.

Ruto and Berke Commercial Agencies are challenging the Sh96 million case preferred against the two at the magistrate's court.

Ruto was charged with receiving Sh9.9 million from Hellen Njue, then financial manager of KPC, saying he was in a position to sell 4.31 acres that belonged to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

He is alleged to have received another Sh57.8 million for the sale of two parcels and another Sh28 million for a parcel in the same forest.

He is allegedly to have obtained the money on pretense that he was in a position to sell land though it is owned by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

Ruto, a company associated with him, Berke Commercial Agencies; a former aide of retired President Daniel Moi, Joshua Kulei; and two other companies have been sued for allegedly obtaining money from Kenya Pipeline Company in 2001

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