Turkish businessman with links to DP Ruto detained in Nairobi
Published on: August 07, 2021 02:56 (EAT)
Turkish businessman Harun Aydin-who has links to Deputy President William Ruto- was detained by the police shortly after arriving at the Wilson Airport on Saturday from a recent trip to Uganda that is said to have spooked government officials. No information about the 55-year-old’s detention was released to the public, although the Turk was at the heart of Deputy President William Ruto’s recent Ugandan trip drama. He was among five others who were to accompany the DP to Uganda on a private visit to President Yoweri Museveni. The others were; MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Mombasa based businessman David Lang’at, Elijah Rono and Eric Ruto. His Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi took to Twitter on Saturday, claiming that he had been denied access to his client who is currently detained by the Kenya Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) “Apparently, the right to counsel doesn’t apply to Turkish national Mr Harun Aydin arrested by the Kenyan police,” the lawyer said “ I have been denied access to see him allegedly on ‘orders from above’.” Mr Ahmednasir was accompanied to the ATPU Nairobi headquarters by lawyer Cliff Ombeta, Kapreset MP Oscar Sudi and the Turkish deputy ambassador to Kenya. According to Lawyer Cliff Ombeta the businessman was arrested as soon as the flight touched down. His translator was not arrested along with him, with lawyers claiming the businessman does not speak English. “Officers went to the runaway and separated Harun and arrested him.,” Ombeta said on Sarturday “They took Mr. Aydin into this place that you can see is locked,” DP Ruto defended Mr Aydin in an interview with Inooro TV on Tuesday, hailing him as a savvy businessman. “Don’t listen to those saying he is a terrorist. He is a businessman who has invested heavily in our country. The Turkish embassy confirmed he is genuine and has no criminal record,” he said. The Turk has been in the country since 2018 and has interests in trade and consulting. No one knows what role he was playing in Ruto’s trip to Uganda, but what is known is that he accompanied DP Ruto allies to the Ugandan trip after the DP was forced to cancel the itinerary. The DP was turned away after a five-hour delay at the Wilson Airport apparently on a clearance hitch. Five days later, the dust is yet to settle with the Uganda government on Thursday afternoon responding via social media to statements made by members of parliament regarding the cancelled trip’s agenda. The statement posted on the government of Uganda’s verified Facebook page clarifies that Ruto’s visit was a private one and, “the @Ministryofforeignaffairsug protocol department has no record whatsoever that there was a request for us to provide protocol services to his excellency Ruto. It also quotes Hon. Okello Oryem, the Minister of Foreign affairs who said that, “I was not informed by the chief of protocol being requested by the Kenyan high commission in Uganda to provide protocol services to the deputy president.” In addition, the government of Uganda goes on to say that, “our foreign policy is very clear that we don’t interfere in the internal affairs of any country whatsoever. We have no authority, we have no power over Kenyan government, they have their own reasons why they prevented he Ruto from coming to Uganda and that should be channelled to the Kenyan High Commission.” Emmanuel Dombo the Director of Information at the National Resistance Movement told Citizen TV on Thursday that they are concerned about some statements made by Kenyan lawmakers that could be easily misconstrued. “We are trying to build the East African community and do not want the visit by Deputy President William Ruto to be misconstrued. We have hosted Odinga, Ruto and we know how diplomacy works. Recently Ruto visited Uganda, and it represents the brotherhood of East Africa,” Emmanuel Dombo, NRM Director Communications said.