A WITNESS testifying in the Anglo-leasing case has affirmed that investigators never found evidence of fraud or conspiracy and said the charges were pressed under duress.

George Makembo, a former EACC sleuth said he would be lying if he said there was specific evidence in support of allegations made in the case.

He said he was aware no criminal charges had been preferred by the time the case file(s) were returned to the former AG Amos Wako (below) to clear certain aspects that would make the prosecution case crumble.

He said there were gaps and deficiencies that needed to be cured.

The investigator explained that the charge of conspiracy was preferred after he got frustrated trying to get evidence in support of the alleged offences.

He said he was seized of  contrary evidence that there were meeting held in concert with security chiefs to discuss critical projects in modernising police operations including CCTV surveillance attested to by accompanying minutes, and thus charges of conspiracy could not avail.

“There was no evidence conspiracy, they were doing their job, they were executing their mandate, a legal duty to execute government priorities,” he explained when cross examined on the government officials, former PS, Dave Mwangi, former Debt controller, David Onyonka, who also face among other charges, abuse of office  and carrying out a project without prior planning.

The court heard that the E-Cops project was a government priority and extensive assessment was carried out before implementation.

Makembo, however, confirmed that he did not interrogate the technical capacity of Info-talent to offer what the police department required.

He neither found evidence that the company did not have the capacity.

Debt department

Makembo confirmed that the money that had been paid for the services was returned after the government cancelled the contracts. He said the court would decide if there was any culpability, “but the entire amount paid to Info-talent was returned.”

“There can be no acquisition if money was returned,” Makembo said.

He further confirmed that the company would then not deliver services on a contract that had been cancelled.

Makembo reaffirmed that he left the case prematurely and may not know any further developments that may have evolved since then.

He said, for example, Onyonka was supposed to be a witness…

“I don’t know what happened…upto the end of my investigations I didn’t know what he did but I know he played a big role in telling me how the debt department operated,”he said.

In cross examination by lawyer Caren Sadia the witness said he was not aware of any new evidence that had emerged since 2012 when he left the EACC.

He said he does not have any evidence to show that Infotalent committed a crime.

Sadia said he would not cross examine the witness any further, “as he confirms he has no evidence.”

Hearing has been adjourned to July 1 2019.

Beyond corruption

Meanwhile, the prosecution suffered a major legal blow after the trial court upheld an objection against the production of copies of prosecution documents on grounds that they have not been properly processed.

Please click the link below  for a backgrounder;

Anglo-leasing: Why prosecution documents maybe rejected in court

A magistrate ruled that exhibit care and custody remains paramount and at the core of a fair trial.

Martha Mutuku ruled that  once the regulations around the safeguard of exhibits are violated, an entire prosecution case may crumble as its not only prejudicial to accused persons but also the state.

She said that failure to observe a proper chain of custody and ensuring that there is no interference along the link, before exhibits are presented in court, calls for sanction if only “to safeguard the integrity of the trial.”

The magistrate said Makembo was not competent to produce the documents having himself testified that they were not in the form he received them when they were presented as exhibits in court.She wondered why the immediate custodians of the documents were not called to testify and present them.

Mutuku said that the prosecution’s submission that such documents were beyond corruption can only be proved through cross examination.