FORMER MINISTERS DISMISS REPORT ON ARMENIAN ARTUR BROTHERS AS COVER-UP

The Nation, Kenya
Aug. 30, 2006

The report into the scandal of the Armenian Artur brothers was
yesterday dismissed as a cover up by two former Cabinet ministers -
and as a waste of time and public resources by the country's leading
lawyers.

Former ministers Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka claimed the report,
presented to President Kibaki on Monday, was tailored to clear
suspended CID chief Joseph Kamau of any responsibility and to shift
the blame elsewhere.

And for the Law Society of Kenya, council member Evans Monari said:
"Nothing has been achieved. It is a waste of time. They have told us
what we already knew."

Asked whether the MPs committee on the Administration of Justice and
Legal Affairs should continue with its investigations, Mr Monari said
yesterday there was no need for further investigations and that the
matter should be left to the police and courts for action.

They were reacting to an exclusive story in yesterday's Daily Nation
which reported the comments of people who had read the report before
it was presented to the President.

The report was said to have cleared CID director Mr Joseph Kamau,
who is suspended from duty, of any blame and recommended that he be
given back his job.

It was also said to criticise police commissioner Mohamed Hussein
Ali for ignoring the police chain of command.

Mr Kamau welcomed the commission's reported findings saying, "they
reflected the reality."

"I'm happy the commission cleared my name," he said.

Asked why he did not appear before it, Mr Kamau said: "If no witness
gave any evidence associating me with the Armenian brothers or
implicated me in any wrongdoing, what was I supposed to go there
and say?"

"In the eyes of the commission, I was an accused person and it was
upon the accuser to bring evidence against me. No evidence was adduced
and that confirms that I was wrongly suspended," he said.

Mr Kamau denied any association with the foreigners.

Maj Gen Ali declined to comment, saying he had not read the report.

Mr Musyoka said by telephone yesterday: "Any attempts to clear the
suspended CID chief and implicate police commissioner Mohamed Hussein
Ali would be blocked at all costs."

He added that although he had nothing personal against either Mr
Kamau or Maj-Gen Ali, the police commissioner handled the Arturs
affair properly.

"He took the right decision," the Mwingi North MP said.

Mr Musyoka promised to issue a comprehensive statement later, while
Mr Odinga said he would address a Press conference on the Kiruki
report today.

Previously Mr Odinga claimed Mr Kamau was a frequent visitor to the
house rented by the Arturs, in the upmarket Nairobi suburb of Runda -
claims that were denied by Mr Kamau.

The Lang'ata MP has also claimed the Arturs were connected to people
holding high offices in Government and with influence in Government
circles, in which connection he named political activist Mary Wambui.

Both Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka said they would not appear before the
Kiruki commission when it was formed by President Kibaki in July.

They dismissed it as "comprised of the President's friends", and Mr
Odinga dismissed it as a "whitewash and a waste of tax payers' money"
the moment it was appointed.

People who have read the commission's report said it criticised Maj Gen
Ali for apparently ignoring the usual chain of command by appointing
Mr Osugo, the then deputy provincial CID boss, to take charge of the
Arturs affair, bypassing Mr Kamau and the then Nairobi provincial
CID head, Mr Sammy Githui.

Mr Osugo was ordered to investigate claims by Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka
that the Armenian brothers were mercenaries and that they had been
hired by the Government to assassinate them.

Maj-Gen Ali had acted in a manner suggesting he had no faith in Mr
Kamau and then Nairobi provincial CID chief Sammy Githui by overlooking
them and dealing directly with Mr Osugo, their junior.

The report indicated incompetence and in some cases collusion by
Government workers who allowed the two Armenians to break the law
and shame the country.

The police came under fire for failing to act on Interpol tips exposing
the Arturs as fraudsters and international criminals travelling on
forged and stolen passports, say those who read the report.

The police raid on the Arturs home in Runda came four hours after
an alert was sounded, giving the two time to conceal or tamper with
evidence, it states.

The sources also say the report censures the handling of the search
at the Arturs' home, branding it "amateurish" and claiming police
failed to respond promptly to an alert by the Kenya Airports Police
Unit to arrest the brothers after a security breach at JKIA.

Meanwhile, questions were being asked as to why the two MPs and a
number of other social and business associates of the Artur brothers
were not called to give evidence to the inquiry.

Those who were mentioned at the inquiry and were never called include
Mr Kamau, Maj Gen Ali, Ms Winnie Wangui, a civil servant who is the
daughter of Ms Wambui, and even Mr Osugo.

Also not summoned was Official Opposition leader Uhuru Kenyatta, who
had called a Press conference and stated that he had information that
the Artur brothers had twice visited State House in February this year.

Others not summoned include Mr Alois Omita and Mr Julius Maina who
were business associates of the Artur brothers.

Ms Wangui, along with Mr Omita and Mr Maina were named at the inquiry
as co-directors of Kensington Holdings Ltd, a company said to have
been involved in a series of forgeries.

Mr Maina was earlier named as a man who claimed to be from State
House on the day the Artur brothers stage-managed a Press conference
at JKIA so it appeared as though they had just flown in.