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Discussion Starter #1

Now mercenary claim men accuse Raila over Sh100m

Publication Date: 3/14/2006

Two foreigners from the former Soviet bloc came out yesterday to distance themselves from claims by Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga linking them to mercenaries.
Mr Artur Margaryan (left) and Mr Artur Sargsyan address a press conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi yesterday. They said they were businessmen working in the hotel industry.Photo by Correspondent
Armenian Artur Sargsyan flew into Kenya by private jet from Dubai and was joined by his brother, Mr Artur Margaryan, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where they called a hurried Press conference.
The two, who claim to be related to the Armenian Prime Minister, claimed to have recorded evidence showing dealings with Mr Odinga and his colleague in the Orange Democratic Movement Mr Kalonzo Musyoka.
The two Armenians are the men who claim their passport copies were circulated to the Press last week by Mr Odinga who said they were two of the mercenaries whose details he had given to the police.
But yesterday, the two insisted they were simply businessmen who came to Kenya to work with the hotel industry and in general trade.
They had interests in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo and said they had invested Sh360 million ($5 million) in Kenya in housing and metal industries, with the approval of President Kibaki.
The two said they had been introduced to both Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka by another businessman, and had been asked by Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka to fund the ODM's no-vote campaign in the referendum on the proposed Constitution.
They said they refused to do this, saying they never helped to fund political work, but said that instead they agreed to a request by Mr Odinga to lend him $1.5 million (about Sh108 million).
However, in a swift rejoinder Mr Odinga denied the claims saying they had been made by "persons unknown to me". He accused the Government of a plot to throw into disrepute the public standing of the ODM leadership.
Mr Musyoka said he met the two Armenians at the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi but could not remember who introduced them to him. He said no transactions – business or otherwise – had taken place.
Said Mr Musyoka: "I cannot deny meeting fellows of the sort. I may have met some people at the Summit Club in Grand Regency in November where we greeted each other and that was it."
"I remember somebody introducing himself as a relative of the President of Armenia and as a former Foreign Affairs minister. I got interested. I may have stopped for a photo session. There were people at the Summit who did the introduction," he said.
Video recording

Mr Artur Margaryan shows journalists around his Runda Estate house in Nairobi yesterday. Photo by Fredrick Omondi
Mr Sargsyan said they were discussing with their lawyers and would present the video recordings of their meeting in court as evidence that they were known to the two ODM leaders.
Mr Sargsyan said the Prime Minister of Armenia, Mr Andranik Margaryan – and not the President – was his uncle but that he himself was going to be a presidential candidate.
He described Mr Musyoka as "a gentleman who looked good and okay" after he was introduced to them by a businessman.
He also claimed that in addition to the Sh3 billion request for "political work" Mr Musyoka had also asked them to supply bullet proof vests .
He claimed Mr Odinga's loan was advanced to him in cash because they had some sympathy with the politicians on humanitarian grounds.
At the time, they said Mr Odinga was under pressure from the Government and was complaining of blackmail.
Mr Sargsyan, flanked by Mr Margaryan – whom he referred to as his brother – said they were shocked to learn that the two ODM leaders were now calling them enemies of the people of Kenya.
"I came in today very angry after being called an enemy of the state. I wanted to clear my name," said Mr Sargsyan who arrived in Kenya from Dubai by private jet in the morning.
Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga (seated) addresses journalists at Parliament Building yesterday where he denied receiving a loan of about Sh108 million from Mr Artur Sargsyan and Mr Artur Margaryan. Photo by Peterson Githaiga
Mr Odinga began the national debate about the possibility of mercenaries having been hired by the police when he claimed last week that some of the police who raided The Standard and KTN offices were led by foreigners.
He recorded a statement with the police in which he gave details of their passports and their address as House 977 Glory Road, off Runda Grove, in Runda, an upmarket suburb of Nairobi.
The signature on the copy of Mr Sargsyan's passport shown to the Press was radically different from the one with which his statement was signed yesterday.
Mr Odinga commented yesterday: "I deny that I know the two persons. I have not met or held any meeting with them. I find their claims completely unfounded, baseless, nefarious and maliciously concocted to scandalise and malign my name."
Speaking at Parliament Buildings and flanked by Liberal Democratic Party MPs, he demanded they should produce evidence to back their claims and went on to ask: "Let them prove they gave the money. Was it a cheque or in cash? The amount adds to more than Sh100 million and that is a lot of money. Is it possible for somebody to carry that amount of money?"
Mr Odinga claimed the two were connected to people "holding high offices in Government", and also named CID director Joseph Kamau and a Narc activist.
He repeated his claims that Mr Kamau was a frequent visitor to the Runda house. The CID director has since dismissed the allegations.
Mr Odinga continued: "If they are businessmen, what kind of business are they involved in? Who invited them to the country? How much money have they brought? Why have they been hiding? Who has been hosting them?"
And he added: "We know they have been to State House a number of times. Who has been taking them there? Is it the Narc activist?"

7,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #2


Confusion as police confront Armenian

Story by NATION Team
Publication Date: 3/15/2006

One of the Armenian brothers at the centre of claims and counter claims by the Government and Orange politicians yesterday refused to allow police into his rented home and rebuffed their attempts to persuade him to record a statement.

Mr Artur Margaryan addresses the press outside his house in Nairobi's Runda estate yesterday where he lives. Photo by Fredrick Omondi

Mr Artur Margaryan told the squad of eight police officers who went to his home in Runda, an upmarket Nairobi estate, that they should either arrest him or produce a search warrant before he could cooperate with them.

The police, headed by Runda police station boss Jeremiah Langat, left the house after receiving a telephone call from a senior officer ordering them to return to their base.

The eight had gone to House 977 on Glory Road, off Runda Grove, as an advance team to provide security for detectives investigating the activities of Mr Margaryan and his brother, Mr Artur Sargsyan.

Mr Margaryan was to have been interviewed by Nairobi deputy provincial CID chief Isaiah Osugo, who was appointed last week by police commissioner Mohamed Hussein Ali to investigate claims by Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga that the brothers were mercenaries.

Mr Osugo did not go to the house after his advance team was denied entry.

However, Mr Margaryan later emerged from the compound and chatted with journalists as Mr Langat, his deputy and three armed police officers in uniform returned to the house. When Mr Margaryan saw the officers, he cut short his impromptu Press conference and called someone on the mobile phone who rushed to open the compound gate.

During his brief talk to the journalists outside his gate, Mr Margaryan confirmed the police had gone to his house in the morning and that he would neither leave nor allow the police into the house unless they had either an arrest warrant for him or a search warrant.

Mr Margaryan repeated his claims that he had in the past met Mr Odinga. He said it was between December 13 and 15, last year in Dubai, when he allegedly gave him the equivalent of Sh100,000 in UAE currency (dirham), to spend as he wished.

He said his brother would be returning to Kenya next week.

He went on: "I will go to court as well as demand protection from the Government because it was my right to ask for protection."

Mr Margaryan acknowledged that his company Brotherlink International Ltd had entered into a contract in January this year to rent the house. His company was involved in various businesses including car imports, electronics and real estate.

He further denied having ever visited State House or having met any senior police officers.

Meanwhile, State House last night warned Mr Odinga against dragging the presidency into the mercenary claims.

It said in a statement that allegations that the two men alleged to be mercenaries had visited State House on two occasions in the recent past were part of a "propaganda war" by Mr Odinga and other politicians in the ODM .

Asked who allowed him and his brother to hold a Press conference at the VIP lounge at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Mr Margaryan claimed it was the journalists themselves who had diverted them to the lounge as they were walking to the first class lounge.

But when journalists, some of whom were at the Press conference protested they did not have such powers, he contradicted himself, saying it was his lawyers Mr Antony Macharia and Mr Fred Ngatia who had arranged the Press conference.

Mr Macharia, who had arrived earlier, declined to comment. He also refused to say where or when a Press conference promised by Mr Margaryan would take place saying he could do that only after receiving instructions from him.

Asked to explain why his brother's particulars were missing from the passenger manifest on the flight he claimed he had taken from Dubai to Kenya, he said all passengers from Arab countries used their mothers' names and not their own or their fathers'.

He promised to avail the manifest during the forthcoming Press conference.

After his brief chat with the journalists, Mr Margaryan returned to his compound and later drove off in a dark blue Subaru whose number plates were hidden behind strips of cardboard. He was accompanied by a woman who on Monday he claimed was his bodyguard.

7,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #3


Now Kalonzo quizzed over Armenians

Publication Date: 3/16/2006

Former Cabinet minister Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday said the two Armenians at the centre of the mercenary row wanted him to introduce them to Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

Mr Kalonzo

And Mr Musyoka named Nairobi businessman Raju Sanghani as the person who introduced him to the two foreigners who Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga claims are mercenaries.

The top Orange Democratic Movement leader was giving details of what he knows about Mr Artur Sargsyan and Mr Artur Margaryan in a statement he recorded at Kilimani police station.

Mr Musyoka, who arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Addis Ababa at 2.40 pm, went straight to the Kilimani CID offices following a Government order that he records a statement.

He declined to speak to journalists at the airport and said he was wanted by the police. "I have been informed that the police are after me. I am going straight to Kilimani police station," Mr Musyoka, who was flanked by Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo, said.

Mr Musyoka emerged from a one-and-a-half hour session with the CID officer tasked to investigate the mercenaries allegations, Mr Isaiah Osugo, to state that he has never requested for funding from the two Armenians.

He said Mr Sanghani introduced the two foreigners, whom he described as "flamboyantly endowed in gold chains, rings, bracelets and watches" at the Grand Regency's Summit Club in late November last year.

"Whilst at the club, businessman Raju Sanghani walked over to where I was seated accompanied by two persons who were casually dressed and introduced them as businessmen from Dubai," Mr Musyoka said.

Mr Sanghani is the former owner of Guilders International Bank, chairman of Real Motors Group and an estate management firm.

During the 10-minute encounter, Mr Musyoka said one of the two foreigners introduced himself as a relative of the Armenian President and that he had set his eyes on a top political seat in his country.

In apparent reference to Mr Sargsyan, he said the Armenian told him of his business interests in DR Congo and inquired if Mr Musyoka could use his influence as a former Foreign minister to introduce him to President Kabila.

"I informed them that I knew President Kabila but was not well-acquainted with him. That was the end of our discussion," narrated the Mwingi North MP.

Contacted last evening, Mr Sanghani confirmed he had introduced Mr Musyoka to the two men in an "accidental" meeting.

He said the two were associates of a Dubai businessman, Mr Zakher Omar, a friend he had met in Mumbai, India, last year. Mr Omar deals in general commodities, steel rolling and real estate development in Dubai and India.

"He and l met accidentally at the hotel l was staying in and we got talking. I tried to interest him in investing in Kenya especially in real estate..."

"Sometime in November he came with two people he introduced as Arthur and James. He claimed they were members of the "royal" family in Armenia," Mr Sanghani said in a telephone interview.

He said that one evening during the three or four days which Mr Omar and his associates spent in the country, he took them to the Summit Club in the Grand Regency where they met Mr Musyoka.

"It was a casual, accidental meeting. I introduced them and told Mr Musyoka that they were members of the Armenian "royal" family. Indeed, l told him that one of the men was a presidential aspirant. I also told him that the men were interested in investing in gold and diamonds in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Mr Sanghani said.

The conversation lasted a few minutes after which one of the Armenians requested that Mr Musyoka pose for a photograph with them.

Mr Sanghani said he visited Dubai later that month on his way to London. "They welcomed me and took me round the place. When l returned to Kenya sometime in December, they were also here," he said.

During one of their outings, the "accidentally" ran into Mr Musyoka at the Serena Hotel. They chatted about the business and the MP asked them about vehicle importations "which is one of the ventures they were into", Mr Sanghani said.

On Monday, Mr Sargsyan told journalists at JKIA that he and his brother were introduced to Mr Musyoka and Mr Raila Odinga by an Asian businessman at the Grand Regency hotel.

It was during the meeting, the Armenians claimed, that Mr Musyoka made a request for Sh3 billion to fund a vote of no-confidence in the Government, a request they declined.

Instead, Mr Sargsyan said, they agreed to a request by Mr Odinga to lend him $1.5 million (about Sh108 million).

But yesterday, Mr Musyoka, a former Environment minister, said Mr Odinga was not in the picture. Instead, he said he was accompanied by Nairobi businessman Kennedy Ngumbau.

The MP, who was flanked by ODM Members of Parliament Mutula Kilonzo, Gideon Moi, Nick Salat, Daudi Mwanzia and Sammy Weya, described the Armenians as "dangerous" people.

"They are people who are absolutely dangerous to Kenyans and the Government must ensure the security and safety of ODM leaders," he said.

Mr Musyoka claimed that the move by the two to take a photo with him at the hotel came to haunt him three weeks ago after the raid at the Standard and Kenya Television Network offices.

"It occurred to me after the attack on KTN and the Standard newspapers in which the said persons were alleged to have been involved, that the intention of having a photograph with me was for the purpose of identification and possible elimination."

Mr Musyoka becomes the second ODM leader, after Mr Odinga, to record a statement with the police over the mercenary saga. The Lang'ata MP recorded a statement at Kilimani police station on Monday.

ODM leaders have claimed that the presence of Mr Sargsyan and Mr Margaryan in the country was known to people at high levels in Government. They have also claimed that the foreigners were being given State protection.

But Environment minister Kivutha Kibwana has warned that Mr Odinga risks being taken to court over the claims of mercenaries in the country.


MPs visit mercenary claim house as

Publication Date: 3/16/2006

Two Nairobi MPs yesterday visited the house occupied by one of the Armenian brothers at the centre of mercenary claims.

The visit came even as information emerged that the two men were most likely, not brothers or Armenians as they had claimed during their press conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport's VIP lounge on Monday.

The new information alleged that the two men could be Czech nationals.

Contacted, the Czech embassy in Nairobi said it could not confirm or deny the reports.

The embassy consular Mr Otov Weniger said in a telephone interview that they did not have information on the two men.

"We will have to see their passports to know whether they are our nationals or not," he said.

Forged passports

He said although it was possible to forge passports, he could only comment after seeing them.

The visit to the Runda house was led by Westlands MP Fred Gumo, in whose constituency the house in Runda estate stands. He was accompanied by his Makadara constituency counterpart, Mr Reuben Ndolo.

However, the two MPs did not enter the compound after the gardener declined to open the gate.

One of the two men who have rented the house, Mr Artur Margaryan, had earlier been driven out by his lady companion in a dark blue car.

As has now become usual, the number plates of the car were covered.

Journalists rushed to the Nairobi area police headquarters after word went round that Mr Margaryan was going to record a statement.

They left when it became apparent that Mr Margaryan would not be arriving.

Back at the house, on getting no response to their persistent knocking at the gate, the two MPs shouted in turns to the gardener, who did not answer.

Mr Gumo: You! Do not panic, I am your MP. Open the gate, you have nothing to fear; this is your country.

Mr Ndolo: Who are you and where are your white bosses?...young man, come and talk to your MPs.

Mr Gumo: Ask your bosses to come out and beat us just like they did to the police officer.

At this point, Mr Gumo received a call, which he answered saying he was at the house. "There is a big crowd here."

Mr Gumo called on Mr Margaryan to come out openly and state what kind of business he was in.

He said it was unusual for anybody to be allowed the use of GK cars, which are not insured.

Mr Gumo and Mr Ndolo gave the Government a seven-day ultimatum to come clean on the identity of the occupants of the house and the nature of their business or else they would mobilise more than 1,000 youths to storm the house and flush out its occupants, whom they termed a security threat.

Security compromised

The MPs, who arrived in two white Land Rovers with more than 20 men in tow, attracted a huge crowd of onlookers, mostly construction workers.

A GK car that was approaching the house reversed and turned back when the crowd started shouting on seeing it.

Mr Gumo claimed people in the estate had complained that their security was being compromised by the presence of alleged mercenaries in the area.

In the compound two cars – a cream Subaru and a Mercedez Benz – could be seen. The windscreen of the Subaru, whose number plates were covered, did not have any stickers, which made the MPs conclude that the two cars were GK vehicles.

Mr Ndolo asked a minister who lives in the neighbourhood to state whether he knew anything about the goings-on near his house.

7,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Raila: ODM to spill more beans on the Armenians

Story by NATION Reporter
Publication Date: 3/16/2006
Lang'ata MP Raila Odinga yesterday evening recorded another statement with police over his claim that the two Armenians currently in the country are mercenaries.
And he declared that the Orange Democratic Movement would today tell Kenyans more about the Armenians' activities and their link to the Government.
The former Roads minister, who first raised the issue of the foreigners, said he had gone to give more "urgent information" to an investigating officer on behalf of the movement.
And he accused the Government of helping the foreigners to concoct untruths that they had bribed him.
The MP said: "This (lie) is something being concocted by themselves and the Government."
In another development, sources said that following Mwingi North MP Kalonzo Musyoka's questioning yesterday, police had been asked to go "slow" on the matter.
The instructions were given as Mr Odinga went to the Kilimani police station to give what he called "additional, crucial and urgent" information about the alleged mercenaries.
Mr Odinga was accompanied by his lawyer, Mr Kenneth Marende, who is also the MP for Emuhaya, during the two and half hours he spent with the police.
With him were MPs Orwa Ojodeh, Reuben Ndolo and William Omondi.
Mr Odinga, who walked out of the CID office at 7.30pm, said: "We felt the information that we have is crucially urgent and needed immediate attention." He said he had decided to give the police additional information which, he noted, he had received in the last few days.
Sources said the Liberal Democratic Party leader gave the officers information on vehicles the Armenian brothers – Artur Sargsyan and Artur Margaryan – were using and the link they had with powerful people in the Kibaki Government.
He was also said to have clarified some issues in his first statement.
The Lang'ata MP said that the fact that the foreigners could "concoct untruths" about him showed that they were up to no good.
"The fact that these characters can concoct statements shows how dangerous they are," he said.
"I do not know these characters."
He maintained that he did not know the two foreigners and dismissed as rubbish the claim that they had given him Sh108 million in Kenya and an additional Sh100,000 in Dubai.
Mr Sargsyan and Mr Margaryan have denied being mercenaries, saying that they are businessmen who are being framed by Mr Odinga so that he may not pay back the money.
Mr Odinga said he would take legal action against Environment minister Kivutha Kibwana over his remarks over his link with mercenaries.
He said Prof Kibwana had shown that he (Kibwana) was "an apologist of one of the most heinous governments" the country had ever had.
After a government of national unity meeting on Tuesday, Prof Kibwana accused Mr Odinga of acting with impunity by saying that he knew the presence of mercenaries in the country.
Prof Kibwana questioned how Mr Odinga knew the whereabouts of the two foreigners if he did not have an intelligence network of his own.
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