Court told KPC paid money to law firm
By Evelyn Kwamboka
Eldoret North MP William Ruto and his co-accused were not paid any money by the Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC), the court was told.
The court heard that the money was being held in a law firm’s account at the Transnational Bank Limited at the time the prosecution claimed it was stolen.
"I never paid any of the accused the amounts as particularised on the charge sheet," Nairobi lawyer Francis Tuiyot said.
Mr Tuiyot, who carried out 32 land parcels’ sale transaction on behalf of the bank, said the money was in the bank account between September 6 and 11, 2001.
A total of Sh272,278,780 was paid in three instalments, upon processing of the titles by KPC advocates.
The cheques were drawn in the joint names of his firm, Kajwang’ and Kajwang’ and Ruth Karanja companies.
The final instalment was paid on September 5, 2001, directly to his company’s account after the corporation acknowledged receiving good titles.
Out of the money received, his legal fees in conveying the transaction was paid and another Sh58 million was paid to Sovereign Group of Companies on September 7, 2001, with instructions from the bank he was representing.
During cross-examination by Sovereign’s advocate, Timothy Naeku, Tuiyot said he was instructed by the bank to carry out the land transaction on July 10, 2001.
It emerged in court that Kajwang’s company dealt with 16 land titles and Karanja’s the remaining 16.
"All the documents together with transfers and 32 titles were forwarded to the two law firms and upon processing the transfers, KPC paid the money," he said.
He told Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei it was KPC’s decision to buy the land parcels and it carried out searches before purchasing them.
In a letter written by Kajwang’s company to KPC, the transfers in respect of the titles were registered in favour of the parastatal’s name.
As at August 29, 2001, Tuiyot told the court the properties became KPC’s and the money Trans-National’s.
The court was told that as per the charge sheet, Ruto is charged in connection with obtaining Sh53 million in the land deal, and not Sh96 million.
He is charged alongside businessman Joshua Kulei and Sovereign Group of Companies, and Baringo Central MP Sammy Mwaita.
Meanwhile, Transnational Bank says title deeds of a land in Ngong Forest were used as securities in a Sh400 million debt.
The bank’s senior manager Farid Abdulrazak Sheik said the collapsed Kenya Times Media Trust put in the title deeds as a security on the 1999 debt.
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