President Ruto Pardons Kenyan Scientist Jailed for 6 Years

Former Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) director Davy Koech, who was convicted of defrauding Ksh19.3 million out of the government, has been pardoned by President William Ruto.

Koech was one of 37 people the Head of State pardoned under the Power of Mercy Act 2011 on the advice of the Advisory Committee, according to the Gazette Notice. The pardon was approved by Justin Muturi, attorney general.

The former director of KEMRI had already appealed the decision made by magistrate Victor Wakumile in September 2021, claiming it was faulty.

Koech was sentenced to pay a Ksh19.6 million fine or serve six years in prison after being found guilty on three charges of dishonest acquisition of public property by Magistrate Wakumile.

The first accusation was that Koech improperly obtained Ksh800,000 worth of public property from the study.

The second and third charges read that on December 12, 2006, he fraudulently acquired Ksh6 million and another subsequent Ksh12.5 million from KEMRI.

He was also accused of using his office to transfer Ksh19.3 million held in the account of Vector Biological and Control Research (VBCR). The magistrate argued that there was sufficient reason beyond doubt that Koech was guilty.

A year later, the former KEMRI director appealed the ruling and sought the High Court to quash the ruling issued by the magistrate.

Justice Esther Maina, however, dismissed the Koech’s appeal and stated that he had failed to demonstrate how the court erred in convicting him.

At the same time, President Ruto reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment for all prisoners convicted before November 21, 2022.

He also pardoned 5,861 convicts who were serving minor sentences; including those serving a six-month jail term or less.

The decision to pardon these individuals was based on the convicts exhibiting good conduct during their time of sentencing.

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