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Economy

Anglo Leasing witness ‘disowns’ his papers

Bradley Birkenfeld
Mr Bradley Birkenfeld. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Questions emerged on Thursday over the integrity of an American witness in the Anglo Leasing suit after he disowned documents bearing his signature and circumstances that led to his conversion from a suspect to a witness.

Bradley Birkenfeld was initially a suspect in the suit and Kenya had issued an international warrant for his arrest after it emerged he had signed documents as the managing director of Infotalent — one of the firms that supplied security items under the Anglo Leasing contracts.

Defence lawyers claimed the American disowned his signatures and agreed to be converted to a prosecution witness to exit the Anglo Leasing case.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi said Mr Birkenfeld had occasionally turned to be a whistleblower in cases where he was involved, and the interview with ethics agency EACC was only part of a process to get him removed.

He also said Mr Birkenfeld’s evidence cannot be trusted because the interview transcript with Mr Birkenfeld and his lawyer shows that he had agreed to give an interview to the EACC investigators because, “he wanted to clear his name,” and did not want to, “be a defendant in any country.”

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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said in earlier court papers that Mr Birkenfeld signed a supplier’s finance agreement and documents for direct procurement as Infotalent’s managing director.

He has since disowned the document in a suit where former senior government officials and businessmen have been charged in connection with multibillion-shilling security tenders the government cancelled in 2003.

Defence lawyer Kioko Kilukumi said the evidence Mr Birkenfeld gave the investigators cannot be trusted because he has previously been jailed for breaching banking regulations.

EACC’s deputy director for asset recovery Julius Muraya, on Thursday told the court they reached out to Mr Birkenfeld to establish if he signed the Anglo Leasing documents.

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