Detective Samson Tanui testifies before Principal Magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A toy pistol has been admitted as evidence in court as the three-day hearing of the case against former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga and 11 others commenced Monday.

Njenga has denied seven counts of being a leader and member of the outlawed Mungiki, planning criminal activities and possessing illegal firearms, ammunition and bhang.

Earlier, the former Mungiki leader through his lawyer Ndegwa Njiru sought orders stopping the prosecution from producing the toy pistol as evidence.

Detective Samson Tanui from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), who testified as the fourth witness wanted to produce the toy pistol.

However, Njiru submitted that the defence had been denied a chance to cross-examine three other witnesses on the toy pistol.

"The toy gun was allegedly confiscated at Njenga's house by the officers who testified. We should have been given a chance to cross-examine them," he said.

The lawyer said that it was an ambush because they had not been furnished with the toy pistol before the trial began last year in November.

Prosecutor Wycliffe Omwenga said the prosecution supplied all inventories of the evidence and exhibits they will rely on in the case.

Principal Magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion ruled that the toy pistol was critical evidence in the case.

Kibelion ruled that the defence team was aware of the toy pistol.  

"It is not the first time that the toy pistol has been mentioned and the claim by the defence is dismissed," he ruled.

However, the court faulted the prosecution for producing the toy pistol on Monday without giving the defence a chance and ruled it prejudicial.

Kibelion retaliated that locking the toy pistol out would not be justice and the defence team had other avenues of addressing the matter.

"The defence has the liberty to recall the three witnesses and cross-examine them on the toy pistol," he ruled.

The ruling came as Tanui, one of the officers testified on the police raid at Njenga's house on May 12, 2023.

He told the court that the former Mungiki leader was not home during the raid.

Tanui, however, testified that a toy pistol, Tokarev pistol, ammunition and bhang were allegedly found in Njenga's house.

"We conducted a search and inside a pillow, our team leader recovered a man-made pistol," he testified. 

He claimed that in the master bedroom in one of the wardrobes they found the Tokarev pistol covered with a white cap.

The police also recovered three blunt ammunition inside a magazine.

During cross-examination, Tanui said Njenga could not be said to be in possession of the firearm and ammunition because he was not at the scene.

He also admitted that they were not gazetted scene of crime officers.

The hearing will proceed on Tuesday.