Kenya: Court Stops Senator Mithika Linturi's Arrest in Sh530 Million Forgery Case

The High Court has temporarily stopped the police from arresting and charging Meru Senator Mithika Linturi over claims he forged signatures to secure a Sh530 million bank loan using properties belonging to his estranged wife Marianne Kitany.

Justice Weldon Korir issued the order on Tuesday after Mr Linturi complained that the arrest and prosecution was meant to intimidate and coerce him to abandon his known stand on various political issues.

Through his lawyer Charles Mwongela, Mr Linturi also submitted that the move was meant to give his estranged wife an undue advantage in the ongoing civil and commercial cases pending before various courts.

"The petitioners are afraid that his right to fair trial will be jeopardised by their intended arrest, charge and prosecution for alleged offences revolving around the credit facilities extended to the third petitioner on the strength of securities provided by the second interested party as well as fraudulent changes of directorship, shareholding and share capital of the third petitioner," he said.

This is the third attempt by Mr Linturi to rush to court seeking protection, saying there are plans to arrest them yet the matter is being handled through ongoing civil cases pending before various courts, pitting him and his estranged wife.

His lawyer claimed Mr Linturi was alerted of the planned arrest by one of his staff after some documents were dropped at his office, among them a draft charge sheet containing 38 counts.

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

The dispute

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

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

At the centre of the commercial and forgery dispute is Atticon Limited, a firm that Mr Linturi fully owned before ceding 50 per cent 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.

Mr Linturi is, however, 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.

Documents filed in court identify Baron Estates' signatories as Rodha Kitany and Collins Kipchumba Ngetich.

The forensic audit report 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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