Principal's widow's bid to restart husband's murder trial fails

Jane Muthoni before the High Court in Kiambu yesterday. [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]
A woman accused of killing her husband, together with her co-accused, yesterday failed in their efforts to have their case heard afresh.

Jane Muthoni, the widow of Solomon Mwangi, the principal of Kiru Boys High in Murang'a County, and co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a alias Gikuyus, wanted the murder case restarted.

But Justice Christine Meoli declined the application, saying it would cause unnecessary delays.

“I have perused the file and realised that the case is almost complete. Allowing the case to start afresh will cause unnecessary delay and waste of a lot resources, “said Ms Meoli who will take over the case after Justice Joel Ngugi was transferred to Nakuru County. 

Lawyer Pauline Kiteng’e had told the High Court that it was the wish of the accused to have the case heard afresh when the matter came up for direction before Meoli.

Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki also opposed the application, saying the case was almost complete as only a few witnesses remained before the matter was finalised.

“We only have five technical witnesses left before we close the case. We need to finalise this matter,” Ms Mwaniki said.

Last December, the accused suffered a major setback when Justice Ngugi declined to disqualify himself from the trial.

The two wanted Ngugi to stop hearing the case over claims of bias. They also wanted the matter transferred to Nairobi.

But Ngugi said there were no grounds for him to disqualify himself from the case. He said doing so would lead to overall adverse effects to the administration of justice.

“It is my considered conclusion that there is no legitimate reason to fear in this criminal case that I lack impartiality,” he said in his ruling.

Meoli directed the case to be mentioned before Ngugi when he returned on June 5 to dispense some of the cases he was handling.

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Kiru Boys HighMurang'a Countyolomon MwangiJane Muthoni