Joy as murder suspects are freed after spending six years in remand

Two Nyeri villagers charged with murdering a police officer could not hide their joy after the High Court in Nyeri acquitted them due to lack of sufficient evidence after battling the charges for more than six years in remand prison.

Lady Justice, Teresia Matheka, while freeing Mosses Karani and Douglas Kuria, said the prosecution had failed to adduce sufficient evidence to place the duo at the scene of crime with regard to the murder of police officer, Robert Kariuki, on August 12th 2012 at Gichira village.

Justice Matheka said, it was a sad case that the suspects were arrested by members of the public on mere suspicion of involvement in the murder and the police went on to charge the two without gathering enough evidence.

I find that the two have no case to answer, noted the Judge, as she blamed officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations handling the case of doing a shoddy job.

The body of the deceased officer who was attached to Kiganjo Police Station was found on the roadside by members of the public after he was reported to have gone missing for three days.

The court during the hearing was told that the body of the office bore head injuries suspected to have been inflicted by being hit with a blunt object.

The court further heard that police officers on the case followed a trail of bloodstains that led them to the pit latrine belonging to Karani, the first accused, where personal belongings of the deceased including sandals, belt and handkerchief were recovered.

The items are said to have been identified by the father to the deceased officer.

However, Justice Matheka in her judgment poked holes in the evidence by the prosecution, noting that the officer’s father had not in his statement, said he was called to identify the items.

There was no enough evidence to show the items recovered belonged to the deceased. Police prepared an inventory of the items found in the toilet but it was not produced in court, the judged said.

She said it was upon the prosecution to demonstrate to the court where the deceased was before his body was recovered by the roadside.

There was no evidence showing the whereabouts of the deceased, investigators would have shown where he was and the reason behind his killing, said Justice Matheka.

She continued that the prosecution also failed to proof the suspects had malice or ill motive towards the deceased.

Source: Kenya News Agency