Magistrate in Sh30m heroin scam freed, three others charged

Mombasa Principal Magistrate Edgar Kagoni was yesterday freed by a court pending the hearing of a case linking him to Sh30 million heroin theft.

Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina ruled that he had gone through certified copies of the order issued at Mombasa High Court stopping the prosecution of Kagoni at the JKIA law courts.

“In view of the order before this court issued from Mombasa, I will release the suspect pending determination of that matter,” ruled Mr Onyina.

But three other judicial officers arrested with Kagoni following disappearance of the heroin were charged.

The three – Onesmus Miinda Momanyi, Avdallah Awadh and Lawrence Thoya – denied the charges.

They were accused that on diverse dates between December 4, 2018, and July 26, 2019, being judicial staff, stole 10.022kg of heroin valued at Sh30 million which had been produced as an exhibit in Mombasa Law Courts.

Defence team

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The three were represented by lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Nelson Havi and Danstan Omari who pleaded with the court to release them on personal bond.

The magistrate directed the prosecution to release the suspects’ IDs and remain with copies.

Ruling on their bail application will be made tomorrow after the magistrate said he needed to go through a pre-bail report.

Meanwhile, Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KJMA) has issued a statement complaining that its members are being harassed.

KJMA Secretary General Derick Kuto said that criminalisation of judicial function should be condemned by all Kenyans.

“We will continue protecting the independence of our members to make sure Judiciary continues delivering its mandate,” said Kuto.

He condemned the alleged mistreatment of Kagoni.

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Mombasa Principal Magistrate Edgar KagoniheroinMombasa