Court lets MP Sudi off the hook in academic certificates forgery case

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi is a free man after the Anti-Corruption Court acquitted him of allegations of forging academic certificates.

Chief Magistrate Felix Kombo acquitted Sudi on all nine charges of forgery saying the evidence adduced in court was illegally and fraudulently obtained.

The Magistrate faulted the investigating agencies over how they obtained part of the evidence and that there was no evidence to support forgery charges.

The court heard that part of the evidence was obtained in a city hotel and at Sudi's former Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) office which, the magistrate said, raised issues of credibility.

Magistrate Kombo noted that when the investigators took evidence from Sudi from the hotel in Nairobi and KICC, no caution was given to him that he was recording a statement.

"There is no indication that the accused person was made aware of or represented by a counsel that he was recording a statement," he said.

He said the investigating officer did not record a cautionary statement and the two statements recorded from Sudi outside EACC offices were statements under inquiry.

"The State cannot therefore use the statement against Sudi in a trial. That would be possible if the accused was cautioned to maintain or retract the statement upon commencement of charges against him," he ruled.

Kombo also blamed the EACC investigators for trying to interrogate and record a statement from Sudi at a city hotel.

"The fact remains that the investigators purported to conduct official commission's duties in a hotel is illegal. The interrogation of a suspect at a venue of their choice is dubious," Kombo stated.

"When the venue is a hotel, in my view it would expose the work undertaken however legitimate since it would raise issues of impropriety, and credibility,” he ruled.

He added: “In the circumstances l agree with the defence submissions that the conduct of interrogation of Sudi and the recording of his statement at a city hotel was an irregular manner of conducting investigations and the evidence obtained thereof is suspicious."

The court also wondered why the State did not produce in court a statement made by Sudi at his former office at the KICC and failing to adduce a copy of diploma certificate and a copy of KCSE certificate.

On documents presented by Sudi at IEBC offices for clearance to vie for election, the magistrate noted: "The evidence presented in court shows that it is not the actual original documents presented by Sudi at IEBC offices," Kombo said.

Sudi had been accused of forging a diploma certificate in business Management and giving false information to an IEBC officer.