Ex-policemen charged over murder of British aristocrat to know fate in October

Police officers Ismael Baraka, Charles Munyiri Muganda, and Naftali Chege at a Mombasa High Court in Mombasa County on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Four ex-police officers charged with the murder of British aristocrat Alexander Monson will know their fate on October 28, after both parties closed their submissions yesterday.

The defense lawyers said the prosecution failed to call the bouncer of a club to testify on what transpired inside the entertainment joint before Monson was ejected and later arrested. 

Jared Magolo said prosecution and Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) had failed to establish the cause of the fatal injury on Monson's death. He said the state failed Monson's family.

He said that the prosecution failed to call the bouncer of the famous Tanduri night club in Diani that had called police on the deceased after he was allegedly caught smoking cannabis outside the club.

“Looking at the circumstantial evidence, investigations let the court and the family of the deceased down by not getting the correct information. There was evidence that a bouncer from the club called the police but he was never called to testify what prompted him to call police,” said Magolo.

Police Constable John Pambe, Naftali Chege, Charles Munyiri Muganda and Ismael Baraka were charged and with the murder of Monson in May 2012.

Justice Eric Ogoia had found the four had a case to answer and placed them on their defense.

Magolo said calling for police reinforcement meant that there was confrontation at the club.

“The investigation has never bothered with what happened during the arrest and by leaving out those two areas, they denied you to find out if the injury was caused at the club or at the time of the arrest,” said Magolo.

Magolo said the court and the public will never know who caused the injury and at what stage the injury was caused.

“There is no evidence direct or circumstantial showing that his client contributed to causing the injury or assaulting the deceased,” said Magolo.

He said Monson may have been injured at the cells, police office, during the arrest or at the club.

The late Alexander Monson's mother Hilary Monson (right) and John Lockhart at a Mombasa High Court in Mombasa County on Wednesday 28th July 2021 [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

“I therefore urge that you find the unfortunate as it is, we have been let down by police and Independent Police Oversight Authority IPOA and left you with no evidence and urge you to acquit the third accused,” said Magolo.

The DPP senior Counsel Alexander Muteti urged the court to find guilty and convict the four police officers charged with the murder of  Monson in 2015 at Diani Police Station.

“I urge the court to find the four accused guilty as charged, the deceased having died in their hands,” said Muteti.

Muteti urged the court to determine the circumstantial and forensic evidence in determining the cause of death.

He said the court should also consider the credibility and believability of the accused in all human reasonable considerations of their defense.

“I focus on the defense because your lordship you have to deal with the issue of contradictory evidence from the accused persons much so touching on basis of where the assortment of drugs was discovered which is at the center of the arrest,” said Muteti.

Defense lawyer Daniel Wamotsa said the prosecution was advancing theories that Monson’s injuries were inflicted between 3 AM and 6 AM while he was in police custody but failed to call any witness to prove the same.

Wamotsa said there was no way the age of the injury could be determined as alleged by the prosecution.

He said the prosecution also failed to call in any of the cellmates to testify that the police chose to remain silent under the blue code of silence after injuring Monson.

“We submit Monson case is anchored on suspicion. It is reasonable to suspect but in view of this case, suspicion alone can’t be grounds to convict the accused,” said Wamotsa.

He said there was no motive to the fourth accused to inflict injuries on the deceased and as a junior police officer, he was doing his job.

“It is very unfortunate that after all this, we cannot point who inflicted the injuries but it cannot be put on the fourth accused who was at the right place and time,” said Wamotsa.

He said the evidence by Chief Inspector of police indicated that there was no commotion at the club and at the time of arrest.

The four officers will anxiously be waiting for three months to know if they will walk free or head to prison.

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