Court acquits suspects in Sh791m NYS case

Former National Youth Service (NYS) Director General Nelson Githinji, ex-Devolution Principal Secretary Peter Mangiti and businessman Ben Gethi have been acquitted in the Sh791 million NYS 1 scandal.

Clearing the former senior civil servants in what was termed as “NYS Season One”, Milimani chief magistrate Wendy Micheni said on Monday evening, “the prosecution failed to produce enough evidence linking them to the theft of the hundreds of millions.”

Mrs Micheni said the offences filed against the former senior NYS Officials would have been proven “if the prosecution had presented electronic evidence in their bid to pin down the suspects.”

Acquitting the three who were charged alongside other former junior staffers of NYS, the magistrate said “no prema-facie case has been established against the suspects to warrant the court to put them on their defence.”

The magistrate who analysed the entire evidence led by the prosecution witness outlining the roles played by each of the suspects said “no direct evidence links them to the loss at the NYS.”

“Having failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons, I hereby acquit them for lack of evidence “, the magistrate ruled.

Prosecution called more than 50 witnesses to testify in the case that commenced over six ago.

The case has been heard by more than three magistrate including Chief magistrate Andayi.

NYS season 2 is still pending in court.

Mr Mangiti, Mr Githinji and Mr Gethi were charged alongside 23 other suspects who were also acquitted.

However, five accused persons have been put on defence.

In 2015, the accused persons denied the charges of conspiracy and theft of the money.

Mr Githinji, who stepped aside from his post at the NYS in November 2015, faced charges of attempting to cover up the fraud at the institution.

Together with Mr Mangiti, Mr Gethi and Mr Githinji is accused of attempting to induce Adan Harakhe, senior deputy director general in charge of administration at the NYS, not to follow up with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on a conspiracy to steal Sh695 million from the institution.

Mr Githinji and Mr Mangiti had been charged alongside other NYS employees who were identified as those who not only conspired to defraud the institution of Sh695 as those who not only conspired to defraud the institution of Sh695 million, but also stole Sh791 million.

The accused had been out on bond.

Besides the one about Sh791million, the accused are also charged in other NYS case stilling pending at the Milimani law courts

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