Economy

Sonko freed of corruption, money laundering charges

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Sonko has been freed of corruption and money laundering charges. PHOTO | NMG

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko was on Wednesday acquitted of corruption and money laundering charges arising from tenders awarded during his tenure.

Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti freed Mr Sonko and other accused including Anthony Otieno Ombok alias Jamal and ROG Security Ltd.

READ: Sonko loses bid to halt his Sh537m graft suit 

The magistrate said the charge sheet was defective and from the 19 witnesses who testified, the evidence was not sufficient to place Mr Sonko in his defence.

“The accused persons, therefore, have no case to answer,” he said.

Mr Sonko was accused of embezzling funds by awarding dubious contracts. The money was allegedly wired back to his personal accounts on different dates.

The charges against them included money laundering, conflict of interest, abuse of office, acquisition of public funds and conspiracy to commit an economic crime.

Mr Sonko was accused of corruptly receiving over Sh25 million through proxies.

One of the tenders was for the supply and implementation of an electronic revenue collection and payment system. They allegedly committed the offence between July 1, 2018, and January 31, 2019.

Some of the witnesses were initially charged together with Mr Sonko but their cases were dropped and turned into State witnesses.

READ: US bans entry of former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, family

Mr Sonko had challenged their evidence, saying the witnesses were actively involved in the tenders and the court should treat the evidence as that of an accomplice.

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