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Diplomat faces probe over Sh5b Anglo Leasing bribe claim

COUNTIES
By Paul Wafula | July 26th 2016

A Geneva court wants former Swiss ambassador to Kenya Jacques Pitteloud investigated over claims he demanded a Sh5.5 billion bribe to stop Anglo Leasing cases.

This was after businessmen Deepak Kamani and his brother Rashmi Kamani filed a complaint before the Federal Prosecutor in May 2015 claiming Pitteloud attempted to force them into giving him the money.

The Kamanis are at the centre of the scam over the supply of security systems for the police in which the Government is said to have lost Sh10.4 billion.

Kenya has also started prosecuting the case where the two are charged with five counts of conspiracy to commit an economic crime and fraudulent acquisition of public resources. The brothers are counting on the outcome of the case to help them fight charges against them in Kenya.

Pitteloud who served in Kenya between 2010 and 2015 allegedly called, texted and even visited the Kamanis at their Nairobi home to demand the bribe.

They claimed the diplomat promised to have the cases dropped when they launched the case at the Swiss Federal Criminal Court. The court ordered that the diplomat be investigated for the crime he allegedly committed on June 29, 2014. 

The appeal was partially admitted in what could embolden their defence as they fight their case in Nairobi. They blamed him for abuse of authority as well as a violation of his duty of secrecy.

"As Pitteloud intervened without having received a mandate from the Swiss authorities to do so. This intervention is also illegal. Therefore, it has to be admitted that he requested from the appellants an action which he was not entitled to obtain. The exercised coercion therefore seems illegal," the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said.

The Kamani's are among 13 suspects facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the government in the Anglo Leasing scandal.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko told a court in Nairobi recently that Chamanlal Vrajlal Kamani and his two sons, Rasmi Chamanlal and Deepak Kumar, were the direct beneficiaries of Sh3.8 billion paid from the National Treasury 12 years ago to non-existent companies in the scandal.

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