Former magistrate Abdulkadir Elkindy and Moses Osewe, a former revenue officer in the defunct Nyando County Council, have a case to answer over a Sh2.3 billion land fraud case.
Kisumu Chief Magistrate Julius Ngar Ngar ordered that the two prepare for a defence hearing for fraudulently transferring the land belonging to Miwani Sugar Company.
Four other suspects charged alongside the duo in the nine-year court battle were acquitted on the failure of the prosecution to level tight proof on them.
“From my findings, the evidence on record is not capable of sustaining conviction, even if the accused persons opted not to offer any defense or explanation,” said the magistrate while acquitting the four.
“On the other hand, I find that Moses Nyabwa Osewe and Abdulkadir Elkindy have a case to answer and are placed on their defense."
In the suit, the duo was facing various counts, with Elkindy also accused of abuse of office while Osewe was accused of willfully failing to collect land rates for the land in question.
The other suspects also faced charges of conspiring to defraud.
They included Kibos Sugar chairman Sukhwinder Singh Chathe, Ian Gakoi Mawa, Odongo Philips Katiba, Kefa Lumumba Atunga, Epainto Apono Okoyo and Crossley Holdings.
Another suspect who was implicated in the crime, however, died.
Some 30 witnesses testified in the case, with a former judge claiming her signature was forged to facilitate the alleged illegal transfer.
“Several witnesses who were expected to testify in the case died before they could take the witness stand while one other suspect also died before the case was concluded,” said Mr Ngar Ngar.
In its case, the prosecution had claimed that the value of the property was Sh2.3 billion but in his ruling, the magistrate said the prosecution failed to provide any evidence to prove the value of the property.
In November last year, a former anti-graft agency detective Stanley Miriti told the court the transfer of the land was suspicious.
He investigated the transfer when he was working at the forensic department of the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.
During the course of the proceedings, the court heard that the former magistrate serving as a Deputy Registrar when the offense was committed, executed a notification of sale of the property.
Osewe and Elkindy will be expected to take the defence stand on July 8.
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