Sixteen people accused of killing the directors of the troubled Kihiu Mwiri land-buying company who will remain in custody until the key civilian testifies on the matter at Milimani law courts.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Sixteen people accused of killing the directors of the troubled Kihiu Mwiri land-buying company to remain in custody until the key civilian testifies on the matter.
High court decline to release the accused persons on bail on Wednesday saying there were compelling reasons to deny the accused bail.
Lady Justice Mutuku in her ruling said that, the prosecution has satisfied it on a balance of probabilities that there are compelling reasons in the case to deny the all the accused persons bail pending the hearing and determination of the case.
“I decline to grant bail to the 1 accused to 16 accused persons, all inclusive. They shall remain in custody until the key witness specifically the civilian witness have testified” Ruled Justice Mutuku
In her ruling the judge added that, the sheer number of the accused person, coupled with the fact that some of the victims in the case had reported threat to their lives as well as the fact that deaths in case are interlinked with the kihiu Mwiri farmers limited is persuasive to the court for ends of Justice to be met, it would be better to decline the applications for bail
“Having read the attached statements of the victims, it is my view that I am persuaded by the prosecution, on a balance of probabilities, that there are compelling reasons in this case to decline to allow the respective application” said Justice Mutuku.
The judge also dismissed their application entirely saying she has taken into account the averment of the accused persons on their various ailments.
The learned judge said that the remand prison has a health centre where all prisons held in custody are attended to medically and where need arises to be refered to another health institution,theey can make application before the court.
Sixteen former and current directors of trouble-ridden Kihiu Mwiri land buying company in Murang’a County were charged with the murder of four officials.
They are Joseph Thiong’o, Henry Ngugi, Julius Kanyiri, John Njoroge, Harrison Kibande, Joseph Muchui, Bernard Murigi and Josephat Macharia.
Others are Mary Mugechi, Joseph Nyamu, Patrick Ikuu, Samuel Njeru, Peter Mburu, Peter Murigi, Zackaria Ngaruiya and John Kamau.
They have denied killing Peter Kuria, Paul Muhuhi, Josephat Nyoike and Zachari Chege in Murang’a and Kiambu counties between May 10 and July 29.
The charges were read out in English and translated into Kikuyu. Each is required to choose the language he or she intends to use during trial.
The suspects asked to be freed on bail pending trial but were directed to file a formal application within seven days. If the court rejects their request, they will remain in custody until the hearing date.
The prosecution intends to call 30 witnesses.
“Preliminary investigations have linked the respondents with (the) murder and disappearances of James Macharia, Job Mwangi and Solomon Macharia who went missing on March 25, 2014 and have not been traced to date.
“Wilfred Gichana was shot dead on May 12, 2014, Charles Ngugi was shot dead on January 18, 2015, and Peter Kuria was shot dead on May 10, 2015 while Paul Muhuhi was shot dead on June 28 2015.
“Peter Kariuki went missing on July 1, 2015 while Zachary Chege and Josephat Kibe were both shot dead on July 29, 2015,” Ms Mwaniki told the court.
The suspects were, however, charged with the murder of Paul Mahihu Bernard in Majengo estate in Thika Town on June 28, 2015.
They were also accused of the murder of Zachary Chege Kirau on July 29, 2015 in Murang’a and of Peter Kimani Kuria on May 10, 2015.
The suspects were also accused of the murder of Josephat Kibe on July 29, 2015.
The offences were allegedly committed jointly with others not before the court.
Kihiu Mwiri, based in Murang’a, has been riddled with mysterious murders, which police link to disagreements among directors.
The killings began after officials disagreed over the subdivision of the company’s land.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently issued 43 title deeds to the rightful owners of the land who had waited close to five decades.
The issuance followed the completion of a regularization process that sought to ensure the land is subdivided and the genuine beneficiaries issued with title deeds.