Witness in Dennis Itumbi forgery case withdraws over death threats

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,2ND SEPT 2019-A witness    has filed an application to withdraw from a case in which blogger Dennis Itumbi is accused of authoring a letter alleging of a plot to assassinate Deputy President William Ruto.

The  prosecution witness, Samwel Gateri Wanjiru, who is also a member of a WhatsApp group dubbed Tanga Tanga,has cited threats to his life including an attempted kidnapping as grounds for withdrawal.

In an application filed at the Milimani Law Courts, Gateri claims he was arrested on July 2, 2019 and the officers forcibly seized his cellphones, national identification card and driving licence.

He further alleges that he was forced to sign a witness statement whose contents he does not know.

Gateri further submitted that if the court does not intervene urgently, the prosecution might use the said statement in the case against Itumbi.

He also  claims that the officers threatened to execute him if he failed to confirm that he had a telephone conversation with the deputy president and that Itumbi was his link to the DP.

Gateri also says that he was kept in police custody for more than 24 hours but was later released.

He further wants his confiscated items be surrendered back to him unconditionally, arguing that he is unable to carry out any transactions without his national ID.

“I’m currently under intense pressure since the officers threatened me and I have even faced an attempted kidnapping therefore my life is in danger,” he told the court.

The matter came up  during the pre-trial conference on Monday, however, the prosecution requested for more time to go through the application by the witness.

The matter will be mentioned on Tuesday, September 3.

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