Economy

Reprieve for Linturi in Sh530m forgery case

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Meru senator Mithika Linturi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Justice Hedwig Ong’udi ruled that the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) ignored Mr Linturi’s complaints when he recommended the senator to face forgery, among other charges in a property dispute pitting him against Ms Kitany.
  • The judge directed the DCI to consider Mr Linturi's complaint and to resubmit the file to the Director of Public prosecutions within 90 days.
  • Mr Linturi has denied that Ms Kitany has been his wife, claiming he had hosted her on compassionate grounds after she lost her job in 2017.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi on Tuesday won a reprieve after the High Court barred the police from arresting and charging him over claims that he forged signatures to secure a Sh530 million bank loan using properties belonging to his estranged wife Marianne Kitany.

Justice Hedwig Ong’udi ruled that the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) ignored Mr Linturi’s complaints when he recommended the senator to face forgery, among other charges in a property dispute pitting him against Ms Kitany.

Mr Linturi argued that the DCI shelved his complaints regarding fraudulent change of directorship, shareholding and share capital at Atticon for more than two years and instead prioritised the complaint by Ms Kitany in which he is accused of obtaining of credit facilities using his company.

The judge directed the DCI to consider Mr Linturi's complaint and to resubmit the file to the Director of Public prosecutions within 90 days.

Through his lawyer Charles Mwongela, Mr Linturi said his planned arrest was meant to assist Ms Kitany in the fight over multi-million properties.

He said the dispute, relating to financial securities and credit facilities as well as control of some companies in dispute, were subject of ongoing lawsuits.

Ms Kitany is a former chief of staff at Deputy President William Ruto’s office.

Mr Linturi has denied that Ms Kitany has been his wife, claiming he had hosted her on compassionate grounds after she lost her job in 2017.

In May, Mr Linturi obtained an order stopping his arrest over claims that he forged signatures to secure loans of Sh530 million using properties belonging to Ms Kitany.

The charges, he said include giving false information, obtaining credits by false pretences, personation, abuse of office and fraudulently procuring the registration of charge documents.

Ms Kitany is a former chief of staff at Deputy President William Ruto’s office. Mr Linturi has denied that Ms Kitany has been his wife, claiming he had hosted her on compassionate grounds after she lost her job in 2017.

He said he complained about fraudulent changes in Atticon ltd after he was kicked out of the company in April 2017 and loans advanced to his estranged wife, but the complaint has never been acted upon.

“We strongly believe that the reason why Marianne Jebet Kitany and her proxies were averse to any investigations being carried out by the Bank Fraud Department and instead preferring the said technical matters to do with banking which had been reported by the petitioners being investigated by the DCI (serious crimes unit) is that the 2nd respondent’s said Serious Crimes Unit is biased in their favour,” Mr Linturi said in the petition.

He said he was served with yet another letter from the police in August, indicating that he would be charged with attempted rape and indecent act. According to the legislator, the alleged criminal offences have never been disclosed to him or the court, yet he allegedly committed the offence in January this year.

Mr Mwongela submitted that the move was meant to give his estranged wife an undue advantage in the ongoing civil and commercial cases.

At the centre of the commercial and forgery dispute is Atticon Limited, a firm that Mr Linturi fully owned before ceding 50 percent shares to Baron Estates Ltd, which is associated with the estranged wife.

The ceding of ownership was in exchange for Baron Estates guaranteeing a Sh50 million loan that Mr Linturi intended to borrow at Family Bank.

The Senator is accused of fraudulently kicking out Baron Estates from ownership of Atticon and further increasing the loan secured using the Baron’s property to Sh530 million without its consent.

An audit filed in court indicates that Rodha Kitany’s signature was forged to secure loans of Sh100 million from Family Bank, another loan of Sh325.7 million, and a separate overdraft facility of Sh100 million using the properties of Baron Estates.

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