Graft: Kenya's former top state officials freed on bail By PAMELA CHEPKEMEI in Nairobi | Friday, November 30   2012 at  14:11

From left: Businessman Duncan Muriuki, former Tourism Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola and former Kenya Tourism Board managing director Achieng' Ong'ong'a in court in Nairobi November 30, 2012. The three were freed on a cash bail each pending their appeal against fraud charges. PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Kenya's former Tourism Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola and two others were Friday freed on cash bail pending an appeal against fraud charges.

Also released was former Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) managing director Achieng' Ong'ong'a and businessman Duncan Muriuki.

High Court judge Mbogholi Msagha freed the three on a $5,900 (Sh500,000) cash bail.

The former government officials paid the price of a trip organised for permanent secretaries to familiarise themselves with the marketing of wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara in June 2007, a function also attended by President Mwai Kibaki.

Senior principal magistrate Lucy Nyambura on Monday ruled that the money requested by KTB from the Treasury was for marketing and asked how KTB ended up paying Sh8.4 million for a trip budgeted to cost Sh900,000, and which was to be funded by stakeholders in the tourism sector.

“The cost of the entire trip was $21,000 (Sh1.8 million) which was to be sourced from stakeholders. No documents are there to show the other payments even after one stakeholder paid Sh500,000 for the trip.

"In fact, the other accused (Duncan Muriuki) opened a fixed deposit account for the money and withdrew it soon after the trip was over,” said Ms Nyambura.

The magistrate jailed Nabutola for four years while Ong’ong’a will serve three years.