Nairobi: Witnesses credibility queried

They are on politicians’ payroll, say lawyers
By MAXWELL MASAVA, EMMANUEL ONYANGO

Kenya Times
July 12 2006

Witnesses credibility queried

LAWYERS appearing for individuals adversely mentioned at the Kiruki
commission yesterday claimed that some witnesses were on the payroll
of unnamed politicians to lie to the commission.

Lawyer Gibson Kamau Kuria appearing for Winnie Wangui yesterday
accused two Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials who appeared to
testify yesterday and Tuesday, of having been ‘paid’ by politicians
to appear and lie to the commission.

Kuria said two senior customs officials attached to Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport had created fictitious stories surrounding the
Arturs’ gun drama at the airport to cover up the truth.

He accused Charles Nambale, a senior revenue official and Nelson
Ochieng of having lied to the commission about the Arturs drawing
out guns at the baggage hall.

Similar sentiments were raised at the commission last week when a
lawyer appearing for suspended CID director, Joseph Kamau, accused
another witness as having been ‘hired’ to give evidence.

Jane Ondieki told the commission that Dominic Opar Owiya, the
security manager at Panari hotel was a "witness on hire" and needed
investigations. The commission later launched investigations into
the claims.

Yesterday, Dr Kuria said that witnesses were lying to the commission
and a failure to seriously cross-examine them would lead to hiding
the truth and hurting those who have been adversely mentioned.

Ondieki appearing for the suspended CID director put Nambale to task
over his age.

She challenged the witness to tell the commission why he had lied
about his age to doctors who treated him after the scuffle.

Nambale, who still claimed to be in pains of June 8 scuffle told
the commission that he had erred by putting his age at 49 when he
visited doctors.

His actual age is 52.

He caused laughter at the hearings when he told the commission that
he was poor in mathematics and would revisit the hospitals to rectify
the anomaly.

Ondieki had sought clarification as to why the commission should
trust evidence of a man who had lied to doctors to get medical forms
and P3 forms.

The witness had a difficult time in explaining how he was injured as
the medical reports indicated that he was bruised on the head and
knee, despite his earlier account where he denied ever having been
punched in the face or suffering injuries in the legs. He told the
commission that the Arturs only pointed a finger in his face and he
never fell on the ground to suffer bruises.

However, the senior customs official who appeared a day after his
junior, Nelson Ochieng, caused light moments at the inquiry when kept
on asking for pain killers to contain the pain he now had to contend
with following the confrontation with the Arturs.

He told the commission that he was willing to sue the Artur brothers
over assault if he was to be facilitated with their true names and
pictures.

"My lords commissioners I may apply that you assist me with their
names and pictures to enable me sue them."

Medical reports from Nairobi Hospital and Nairobi West Hospital where
he had sought treatment showed he had been treated of severe head
bruises, disjointed hip-joint and a sprained right leg, and that he
had since been on psychotherapy and pain killers.

He at one point requested to be served with a pair of Panadol tablets
to reduce recurring pains from the beatings he received from the
Arturs.

Though contradictory, the witness insisted that so severe was the push
from the Armenian that he dislocated his hip joint in an attempt to
resist the push that would have confined him to "the grave."

Last week, Ondieki claimed that Owiya who had appeared at the
commission to testify on Arturs’ presence at Panari Sky Centre the
same evening, was a known "witness on hire" who had testified in a
murder case involving businessman, Kamlesh Pattni.

You may also like