By EVELYN KWAMBOKA
A court has sentenced to death two people charged in connection with the murder of internationally acclaimed Aids researcher Prof Job Bwayo.
Simon Ndung’u Wanaina and Paul Ndung’u Kariuki are to have a date with the hangman’s noose for the offence committed on February 24, 2007, on Kiserian-Isinya Road.
The court said several witnesses mainly from the Police Department proved the two were also involved in a spate of robbery with violence in areas such as Kikuyu and Kabete.
Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei set free their co-accused, Mr Patrick Mwangi Waweru, after the prosecution failed to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, robbery with violence charges against him.
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In mitigation, Wainaina said he did not get a fair trial, adding that all the nine robbery with violence charges against him were false.
"I did not participate in the incident. Simon Matheri, who was killed by police officers, is the one who shot the people. I had nothing to do with the incident," he said.
On the issue of possessing AK-47 rifle, he told the court the ‘luggage’ was not his.
Prof Bwayo, a University of Nairobi Medicine lecturer, was up to the eve of his death working on a possible vaccine against the HIV. Also murdered in the shooting was Mr Lawrence Regeru, who was killed as he tried to reach for his crutches in compliance with an order that he step out of his vehicle.
Felista Njeri was also killed in similar fashion as she reached for the buckle of her seatbelt.
Bwayo’s widow Elizabeth, a relative and an American family friend sustained injuries.
The trial magistrate said yesterday evidence adduced by witnesses indicated that Wainaina and Kariuki committed nine robberies with violence.
The court said evidence by a ballistics expert showed an AK-47 rifle loaded with two bullets used in the incident had also been used in robberies within Kabete and Kikuyu.
The prosecution also proved to the court that Waweru tried to escape from Ngong Police Station cells but failed.