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Flying squad officer in court over killing of Sacco members

By Kamau Maichuhie | Published Fri, October 13th 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 12th 2017 at 23:21 GMT +3
Elias Onsarigo, a flying squad officer, at the Kiambu Law Courts where he was arraigned in connection with the killing of two people. [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]

A flying squad officer was on Wednesday arraigned in a Kiambu court in connection with the killing of two people.

The prosecution told the court it was investigating Elias Onsarigo in connection with the killing of an official and a member of the troubled Nakuru Workers Cooperative Society.

David Gitau, 46, the society’s secretary and Beth Wandia, were shot multiple times by unknown people at Pipeline in Nakuru town in June.

The flying squad officer did not plead to murder charges as investigations are ongoing.

Prosecution counsel Catherine Mwaniki sought 14 days to wrap up investigations.

“The investigations are still ongoing since the phone handsets recovered from the suspect are yet to be analysed by the cyber-crime and the firearm used to execute the deceased person is yet to be examined by the ballistic examiners. There are also other witnesses to be interviewed in relation to the suspect,” Ms Mwaniki told the court.

She said Mr Onsarigo had been linked to the case by mobile phone communication data, adding that the officer was adversely mentioned by witnesses.

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The lawyer told the court the officer was recently transferred to Kitale from the DCI Nakuru.

She said since 2013, at least 10 people, most of them affiliated to the society, had been executed in a similar manner, yet no one had been arrested.

Flight risk

However, defence lawyer Harun Ndubi opposed the application saying it did not meet the set standards.

He said before being granted the orders they were seeking, the prosecution must demonstrate sufficiently to the court that the accused person was a flight risk.

“The prosecution must satisfy the court that there is enough evidence linking the suspect to the offence. They have not done any primary investigations to link him with the murders. The offender has not been fingered adequately and therefore it is unconstitutional to take away the accused person’s liberty,” Mr Ndumbi told the court.

Since 2013, the troubled society has been dogged by mysterious murders of its top officials and members.

The killing of Gitau and Wandia in June this year brought to eight the number of officials and members whose deaths have been linked to a row over 64-acre land. Some murders remain unresolved.

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