Nairobi - Kenya's Finance Minister Henry Rotich pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to corruption charges over the award of two dam tenders, a day after his detention in an unprecedented move against a sitting minister in a country notorious for graft.
Rotich and other senior officials are accused of conspiring to defraud the public, among other charges.
Dressed in a suit and tie and standing next to his number two at the ministry, Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, Rotich denied the charges as they were read out to him by prosecutors before a packed anti-corruption court in Nairobi.
The charges against Rotich stem from a police investigation into the misuse of funds in two dam projects planned for the west of the country, overseen by Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna.
Kenya will also seek the extradition of Paolo Porcelli, the Italian director of CMC di Ravenna, to face charges, the director of public prosecutions told Reuters on Tuesday.