The Turkish Embassy in Nairobi has defended businessman Harun Aydin over claims that he has a criminal record, and should not be in the country.

Speaking to a local daily, an official from Turkish Embassy in Nairobi noted that Aydin is an investor who has been in Kenya on several occasions.

The embassy official further noted that Aydin is a law abiding citizen who was legally in Kenya having travelled using his Turkish passport.

Mr Aydin on Tuesday became a subject of discussion in Kenya after it emerged that he was part of Deputy President William Ruto’s entourage for a Ugandan trip.

The trip was meant to take place on Monday afternoon, but the DP was blocked from leaving the country, with immigration officials citing lack of clearance.

Following the botched trip, reports emerged indicating that the State may have blocked the DP’s travel because of Aydin’s past investigation on claims of being associated with a terror group.

Aydin was arrested at a German airport in 2001 over terror links after his luggage contained suspicious items.

In his travel bag, he was reportedly found to be in possession of a face mask, camouflage clothing, a chemical weapons protection suit and materials to produce an explosive detonator.

Apart from the presence of Aydin on the trip, other sources claimed that it was all about protocol as neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor Kenya’s High Commission in Uganda had been informed of the travel.

Meanwhile, the office of the DP has protested the move to block Ruto from leaving the country, noting that it is aimed at frustrating the second in command.

“We are surprised the Deputy President was denied clearance to go on a planned visit to Uganda. It’s our officers who always handle his travel and this time we were told he must get clearance from immigration to fly out. In all his travels these years, this has never happened,” the DP’s communication Secretary David Mugonyi said.