President William Ruto has pardoned former Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) director Davy Koech, who had been sentenced to a six-year jail term for fraudulently acquiring Sh19.3 million.
Koech was among 37 individuals the Head of State pardoned under the Power of Mercy Act 2011 upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee.
Delivering the sentence, Magistrate Victor Wakumile had found Koech guilty of three counts of fraudulent acquisition of public property and was fined Sh19.6 million or serve a six-year jail term.
The magistrate ruled that the evidence presented before court was sufficient and compelling enough to declare Koech guilty.
In the first charge, Koech was accused of irregularly acquiring Sh800,000 in public property from the research institution on August 17, 2006, while in the second and third charges, the judge’s verdict read that on December 12, 2006, he fraudulently acquired Sh6 million and another Sh12.5 million respectively, from Kemri.
Koech was also accused of using his office to transfer Sh19.3 million held in the account of Vector Biological and Control Research (VBCR).
A year later, the former KEMRI director appealed the September 2021 ruling and sought the High Court to quash it, arguing that it was flawed.
Justice Esther Maina, however, dismissed the appeal and stated that Koech had failed to demonstrate how the court erred in convicting him.
Attorney General Justin Muturi consequently published the names of the 37 offenders pardoned by President Ruto on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy in a notice in the Kenya Gazette.
“It is notified for the general information of the public that in the exercise of the powers conferred by Article 133 of the Constitution of Kenya and section 23 (1) of the Power of Mercy Act, 2011, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy, granted the petitions of (the aforementioned).” Attorney General Justin Muturi ratified the pardon.
At the same time, president Ruto reduced capital punishment for convicts to life imprisonment for all prisoners convicted before November 21, 2022, while also pardoning 5,861 convicts who were serving minor sentences, including those jailed for six months or less.
The decision to pardon these individuals was based on the convicts exhibiting good conduct during their time of sentencing.