4 officers face murder trial over Briton’s death

From left: Naftali Chege, Charles Munyiri Muganda, Ismael Baraka and John Pamba before court yesterday. They denied charges killing Briton Alexander Monson six years ago. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]
Four police officers accused of killing a British aristocrat will be examined to find out if they are fit to stand trial, a Mombasa court has ordered. 

The officers have been charged with the murder of Alexander Monson at Diani Police Station six years ago.

High Court judge Erick Ogola made the order following an application by State lawyer Alex Jamii.

Jamii wants the tests concluded before the pre-trial conference on September 1.

However, the judge released Sergeant Naftali Chege, Chief Inspector Charles Munyiri and Police Constable Ismael Baraka each on a bond of Sh1 million with a similar surety or a cash bail of Sh500,000.

“The prosecution did not bring compelling reasons to deny the accused bond,” said the judge.

Police Constable John Pamba, who made his first appearance after failing to turn up on July 5, was remanded at Shimo La Tewa prison until September 17 when his bail application will be decided.

Last month, a judicial inquest recommended that the four be prosecuted for murder after finding that they are most likely killers of the Briton, who died in police custody after his arrest on May 19, 2012.

The police had claimed Manson died from an overdose of drugs. However, an autopsy established he died from trauma after he was hit with a blunt object on the back of the head and scrotum.

The findings and the victim’s father, Nicholas Monson, piled pressure on Kenyan authorities forcing it to open the inquest into the matter in 2015.

The judge remanded Pamba after the State opposed his release on bond on grounds he will not attend trial.

“The accused should not be released because he has demonstrated he was not willing to come to court even after a warrant of arrest was issued against him,” Jamii said.

He said Pamba failed to appear for plea taking three times despite having been informed. “This demonstrated he was not willing to come to court which shows when released on bond he will abscond,” the lawyer said.

Pamba’s lawyer Pascal Nambwana said his client failed to attend court because he was sick and pleaded with the court to free him on bond.

“My client has brought, to court, medical documents showing he was treated for malaria which made him fail to come to court on May 5 as had been ordered by the court,” Nambwana said.

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