How police bungle ‘open and shut’ murder cases
SEE ALSO :Wife kills 41-year old man in brew rowShe also faulted the prosecution for presenting the case despite a psychiatric evaluation finding that the accused was not mentally fit as he was suffering from illusions. In another case that collapsed on almost similar circumstances, the court found that the confession was conducted contrary to rules which direct that an investigating officer cannot record a confession. Lazarus Kariuki and John Nderitu were facing robbery with violence charges. They were accused of stealing Charles Kagumba Ngari’s phone and killing him on June 10, 2013. However, the High Court set aside the death sentences imposed on the duo and ordered a retrial after lawyers pointed out missteps in the prosecution. Lawyers argued that an ineligible police officer had recorded a confession from the suspects and that a report concerning the stolen phone was inadmissible since the police had submitted the wrong IMEI number to Safaricom.
SEE ALSO :Man killed in video shop attackThe defence team also told the court that the IMEI number taken to Safaricom for analysis did not belong to the deceased’s phone and therefore the report produced in court did not have a bearing on the case. Similarly, the Nyeri Chief Magistrate’s Court was forced to free three men who were accused of gunning down a senior police officer and stealing his gun after their confession failed to hold up. The suspects were on trial for the June 13, 2009 robbery and murder of John Kimanzi Nzau, an OCPD in Othaya. The court agreed with the lawyers argument that the confession recorded by one of them John Wakaru was inadmissible for failure to comply with the Evidence Act and Chief Justice Rules on confessions. Wrongly handled
SEE ALSO :Man arrested over school girl's murderProsecutor Wesley Nyamache conceded to the argument and withdrew the case. “It was very unfortunate that the confession was not properly handled as this was a very serious offence,” Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo said. “The accused persons are not to blame for the omissions and the court will not allow the Sword of Damocles to continue hanging over their heads indefinitely.” Lawyer Wahome Gikonyo said despite playing a key role in the administration of justice, police officers were not put up to date with changes in key laws. “The law keeps on changing. The Confession Rules came in force in 2009 and some police officers may not have been trained,” the lawyer said. He said the Director of Public Prosecutions should train officers in criminal procedure and investigations.
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